Islamabad, March 10, 2015: Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India have met in Islamabad in a bid to resume talks between the two countries. India’s Foreign Secretary, Subrahmanyan Jaishankar, arrived in Islamabad on March 5, 2015, and called on his counterpart, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry. Pakistan describes this development as an “ice break”. Both the states are expected to resume talks on a multiple range of issues; including the Kashmir dispute, terrorism, border disputes and economic relations.
Aizaz Chaudhry said that issues ranging from India’s interference in Balochistan, the Samjhota Express case, and the line of control (LoC) ceasefire violations were brought under discussion. “We also raised the issue of delay in the Samjhota Express investigation. No investigation details on the incident have been shared with us by India. Terrorism is not only Pakistan’s concern, but both countries are equally affected by it. We both have an understanding to fight and end terrorism. We are working to find a common ground from where we can start our joint efforts,” he added.
Foreign Affairs advisor to the Prime Minister, Sartaj Aziz, has stated that Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is likely to visit Pakistan next year to attend the summit meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries.
Foreign Office spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam, has, meanwhile, dispelled the view that was circulating in some section of media that the meeting has failed. She stated in her weekly briefing that she would not like to characterize it as a failure. “We said that it is a visit that is taking place in lieu of the August visit as an icebreaker. It is a process,” she added.
It is important to note that, during the stalemate, there was unprovoked firing and shelling by India across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, claiming several lives and forced many to leave their homes in fear. In August last year, India cancelled the scheduled secretary level bilateral meeting in protest against a Pakistan diplomat’s in meeting in New Delhi with Kashmiri Hurriyat Conference leaders.