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Doubts over Indo-Pak FS-level talks

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Jan 11 - The Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks appear to be unlikely this week with India taking the stand that Pakistan has to act on the leads given to it about the terror attack on the Pathankot air base.

Sartaj Azia, Foreign Policy Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister has said that the foreign secretary talks would be held on January 15, but National Security Adviser Ajit Doval was quoted as having said that talks can be held only after action, a stand from which he has distanced himself later.

Reports from Pakistan today claimed that law enforcement agencies have picked up �some suspects� connected to Pathankot air base attack from Bahwalapur district, the hometown of Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Pakistani news channel ARY News reported today that �some arrests� have been made in this regard, but police did not confirm any arrest related to the Pathankot attack. However, there is nothing officially said about it.

It is unlikely that Foreign Secretary Jaishankar would travel to Islamabad as planned this Thursday for talks with his Pakistan counterpart for the comprehensive bilateral dialogue agreed to between the two countries when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan last month.

Swaraj today went to Home Minister Rajnath Singh�s residence and is understood to have discussed the issue during a meeting that lasted about 20 minutes. But there was no official word on the meeting.

Meanwhile, Congress attacked the Government over the uncertainty� on the FS-level talks, saying foreign policy is not conducted in such a way.

Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said no less a person than Doval has �further compounded and confounded the confusion� that seems to have become this Government�s �hall mark� as far as dealing with extremely serious and sensitive issues of national security are concerned.

He said the NSA was reported to have told a newspaper in an interview that there would be �no peace talks now till Pakistan takes action against Pathankot terrorists and India is satisfied with Pakistan�s efforts� and then denied the entire interview. � PTI

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