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Aizaz Ahmed in India

India and Pakistan on Tuesday indulged in some plain speaking on bilateral issues with the neighbouring country being firmly asked not to be in denial over the impact of terrorism on bilateral ties while Pakistan harped on Kashmir terming it as the core issue.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry met for nearly 90 minutes during which sticky issues including probe into Pathankot terror attack, 26/11 trial and Samjhauta Express blast investigations figured.

This meeting between Jaishankar and Chaudhry, who is primarily here to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, was the first formal interaction since their scheduled talks were deferred in the wake of the Pathankot attack in January.

During the meeting, India raised the issue of “abduction” of former Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, saying he has been taken to Pakistan, and sought immediate consular access. This is for the first time India has categorically said Jadhav was abducted.

However, in its statement, Pakistan said it has raised “capturing” of Jadhav and expressed serious concern over RAW’s alleged involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi, a charge which was srongly rebutted by India.

The development comes after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit created a flutter when he said here that the peace talks between Islamabad and New Delhi have been “suspended”.

The Afghanistan conference in Delhi follows the 5th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Islamabad on December 9, 2015.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Islamabad to attend the conference that adopted the Islamabad declaration for enhanced regional cooperation to countering security threats.