The foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India are expected to meet next month and the two sides are in touch for finalising the new dates amid some “forward movement”, a senior Pakistani official said today.
A senior official of the Foreign Office said on anonymity that there was some “forward movement” and the foreign secretaries are expected to meet in February. “The two sides are in touch over the issue of the talks and dates would be announced after mutual agreement,” he said.
India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary level talks, scheduled for January 15 here, were deferred by both the countries mutually in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack. India has blamed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for the attack and has been seeking action against the terror outfit and its chief Masood Azhar. India had sought action by Pakistan on the evidence provided for apprehending the JeM terrorists suspected to have been involved in the January 2 attack. India has linked the fate of the talks to action by Pakistan.
After internal deliberations, the Pakistan government initiated a crackdown on JeM and reportedly held Azhar, believed to be the mastermind behind the attack, besides shutting down several seminaries associated with the outlawed group. The Pakistan government has however not confirmed Azhar’s detention. It also formed a team to investigate the evidence provided by India about JeM’s alleged involvement.
In a pre-dawn attack, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, believed to be belonging to JeM, attacked the Pathankot air base on January 2 killing seven security personnel.