Action against terrorism takes priority over dialogue: Jaishankar on Indo-Pak talks

New Delhi: Amid the see sawing developments of dialogue between India and Pakistan, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Wednesday it was obvious that New Delhi’s priority would be action over talks in the aftermath of the deadly Pathankot terror attack.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, a joint initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs, which kicked off in Delhi, Jaishankar indicated that action took priority over talks given the present circumstances.

“After the Pathankot attack, the governments of India and Pakistan have been in touch through NSAs and me and my counterpart. The picture you see is of parallel processes. In the aftermath of a terror attack, if you ask me what is the priority, dealing with terror or diplomatic dialogue then the answer is obvious,” he said.

Asserting that every Indian Prime Minister has tried to maintain peace with Pakistan, he said the two nations must not remain isolated from each other.

“It takes two hands to clap. Indians would like to have same relations with Pakistan as other neighbours,” Jaishankar said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that talks with India are likely to resume after a team visits Pathankot in the upcoming days, to investigate into the deadly attack on the Indian Air Force Base.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the Indian Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) immediately after the attack and assured him of Pakistan’s support in the investigation. National security advisers are maintaining frequent contacts,” he said during the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue which he co-chaired with Secretary John Kerry.

“A case has been registered and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is likely to visit India in the next few days. We, therefore, hope that the Foreign Secretary-level talks will be scheduled very soon,” he added.

Aziz also asserted that Pakistan’s decision to ‘reach out’ to India after the Pathankot attack was an important part of Islamabad’s strategy to improve ties with all neighbouring nations.

“We believe that the resolution of all outstanding issues – including the Kashmir dispute – is possible through resumption of full-scale and uninterrupted dialogue with India,” he said.

Soon after the Pathankot attack, Pakistan set up a six-member Special Investigation Team to follow up on the leads which India had provided. (ANI)