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India rebuffs Pak envoy’s remarks on ‘suspension’ of Indo-Pak talks


New Delhi: The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday rebuffed Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s remark that the peace process between both the countries has been “suspended” and there are no talks scheduled between the two countries.

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup referred to today’s press conference by Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, where in response to a question Zakaria noted: “Both countries are in contact with each other and it has been reiterated from both sides that modalities are being worked out. I will again state that negotiations are the best means to resolve the issues. I have read the statement of the Indian Foreign Secretary you are referring to and in that also there was indication that the talks would take place.”

Responding to Basit’s remarks that a Pakistani Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) visit to India to probe the Pathankot attack was not based on reciprocity, Swarup said “The Indian High Commission formally conveyed to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry that the Terms of Reference “are broadly agreed to with the proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity and followed in accordance with extant legal provisions.”

“Subsequently, the JIT visited from March 27 to April 1, 2016,” he added.

Basit today said that the dialogue with India is suspended, while hinting that the National Investigative Agency (NIA) will not be given access to JeM chief Masood Azhar for the probe into the Pathankot attack.

“I would say the dialogue is suspended,” Basit said during an interaction at the Foreign Correspondents club while responding to a question on the status of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue announced by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz last December. (ANI)

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