Pak-India secretary level talks will be held in near future: FO Spokesman

PakistanPak-India secretary level talks will be held in near future: FO Spokesman

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Foreign secretary level talks between Pakistan and India would be held in near future and both sides were in touch in this regard, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said here Thursday.

The secretary level talks between the two nuclear- armed neighbours were expected to start in mid January but were rescheduled in view of the Pathankot Indian Air Base terror attack. Pakistan had condemned the terror incident that had killed three Indian security personnel. Pakistan had offered help to probe into the tragedy.

“The meeting is going to be held in near future and both sides remain in touch in this regard,” he told a regular weekly briefing at the Foreign Office while responding to a question.

When questioned about any information about sending a team to Pathankot, he said, the ministry of interior should be contacted on an issue relating to an investigation into the incident.

Answering a question about the just-concluded visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia and Iran, the spokesman said the purpose of the visit was to ‘reduce tension between Saudia Arabia and Iran and both sides have given a positive response’ as had been indicated by the prime minister in his talk with media in Tehran on Tuesday.

He told a questioner that Pakistan was keeping in touch with both Riyadh and Tehran on the matter of appointment of focal persons. There was nothing more to share with you in this regard, he added.

During Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the two brotherly countries, bilateral issues were also discussed.

Asked about sanctuaries of terrorists in Afghanistan especially in view of reports that the terrorists who stormed Bacha Khan University in Charsadda on Wednesday killing 21 people were receiving calls from across the border, he said,” it will not be proper to reach any conclusion until the investigations are complete.”

However he said “we maintained contact with Afghanistan at various levels” and had been raising the issues of Islamabad’s concern with the Afghan leadership. He referred to the Heart of Asia conference which was  attended among others, by Afghan president Ashraf Ghani during which all these matters came up for discussion. Pakistan’s policy towards Kabul, he said, was to promote peace and reconciliation which was in the interest of Pakistan.

He said the two meetings of the Quadrilateral Group comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, US and China had already taken place while the third meeting would be held in Islamabad on Feb.6. This Group was set up to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, he added.

Source: APP

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