NEW DELHI: A day after an Indian jawan was killed while trying to foil an infiltration bid along the LoC, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on Wednesday phoned up her Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and scheduled to meet on August 25. She, however, asserted that meaningful cooperation could not take place amid violence.
Two months ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had told their Foreign Secretaries to be “in touch”. “I can now confirm that the two Foreign Secretaries have agreed to meet in Islamabad on August 25,” said MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. He described this as the “first diplomatic contact” since the instruction given by the two PMs. The phone call lasted for a little less than half an hour.
The Pakistani Foreign Office statement on the telephonic conversation said the two Foreign Secretaries have “agreed” to “carry forward the dialogue process”.
“What the PMs agreed to was that the Foreign Secretaries will remain in touch and decide on how to move forward. They will now meet to look at how to take things ahead,” Akbaruddin said.
To a question if the meeting would be tantamount to taking forward composite dialogue, the MEA spokesperson said that was looking at something too far down the line.
He pointed out that Sujatha had raised the issue of cross-border firing in strong terms with her counterpart.
“She said incidents of this nature will impede the positive work that the leaders of both countries wish to undertake. She also made it very clear that meaningful cooperation between the two countries cannot take place alongside violence and the sounds of bullets on the border,” Akbaruddin said.