India has urged Pakistan to make “early and visible” progress in prosecuting militants responsible for an attack on an Indian air base as the two sides resumed talks on April 26.
The dialogue was interrupted in January by the attack on the Pathankot air base near Pakistan’s border after being launched in December when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a surprise visit to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
India has accused the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad of carrying out the attack, which killed seven Indian soldiers, and says it provided “actionable intelligence” to Islamabad.
Pakistan sent investigators to the scene of the attack in India last month and claims it has arrested several suspects belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad group, including detaining its leader as part of its investigation.
India wants Pakistan to move quickly to the prosecution stage.
During his meeting with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry in New Delhi on April 26, Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar “emphasized the need for early and visible progress” on the attack investigation, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said.
“Pakistan cannot be in denial on the impact of terrorism on the bilateral relationship. Terrorist groups based in Pakistan must not be allowed to operate with impunity,” he said.
The Pakistani side described the low-key meeting as useful, with discussions touching on a wide ranges of topics including the dispute between the two countries over the divided territory of Kashmir.
Relations remain tense between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, which have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since independence in 1947. One bone of contention has been whether to include Kashmir in the agenda for peace talks.
Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi said the two diplomats also discussed the recent capture of an Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, in Pakistan and Chaudhry expressed serious concern over the Indian intelligence agency, called the Research and Analysis Wing, and its “involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi.”
India’s External Affairs Ministry demanded immediate consular access to Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer. It accused Pakistan of abducting him without giving any details. Jadhav runs a business in Iran.
The resumption of talks between the regional rivals came on the sidelines of a conference in the Indian capital for bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.
India, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are among the countries participating in the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process initiative, which was launched in 2011 to promote Afghan peace efforts.
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