Pathankot attack: Sushma meets ex-envoys to Pakistan

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday held a meeting here with six former envoys to Pakistan in wake of the terror attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in which at least seven Indian security personnel were killed.

Those participating in the meet were T.C.A Raghavan, who retired as India’s high commissioner to Pakistan last month, along with his predecessors Shyam Saran, Satindra Lambah, S.S. Menon, Satyadutt Pal, and Sharad Sabharwal, external affairs ministry sources told IANS.

The meeting was held to discuss India’s strategy vis-a-vis Pakistan following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dramatic stopover in Lahore from Kabul to New Delhi on December 25 last year to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, it is learnt.

The sources, however, refrained from giving details of Sunday’s meeting.

Saturday’s Pathankot terror attack came barely days before the proposed foreign secretary-level talks in Islamabad in the middle of this month.

Modi’s visit was the culmination of a series of diplomatic engagements between the two South Asian neighbours starting from November 30 last year when he had a seemingly impromptu meeting with Sharif at the Paris climate summit.

On December 6, Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Khan Janjua held a meeting in Bangkok which was also attended by the respective Foreign Secretaries S. Jaishankar and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

Two days later, Sushma Swaraj landed in Islamabad to attend the Heart of Asia conference which engages “heart of Asia” countries for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

On December 9, she told media persons there that Modi would visit Islamabad next year to attend the summit meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Following a courtesy call on Sharif, she held talks with his advisor on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, during which it was agreed to begin a “comprehensive bilateral dialogue”.

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