NEW DELHI: After the bitter cancellation of NSA-level talks last month, two Pakistani government officials landed in Delhi on Thursday to attend the Advance Coordination Conference on Disaster Management, organised by the National Disaster Response Force under Union Home Ministry.
The two-day conference, being held ahead of the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx-2015) in November, is the first engagement by Pakistan after the NSA talks were called off by the two countries.
According to sources, Pakistan was represented by Muhammad Tahiruddin, Assistant Director of its National Disaster Management Authority, and Gyan Chand from the country’s Foreign Office. Chand, who works in the Saarc section, is also the first Hindu to join Pakistan’s foreign service. “Ayesha Ahsan, counsellor, Pakistan High Commission in Delhi, also participated in the meeting, which was attended by representatives of disaster response from the Saarc countries,” sources said.
India is pushing for the Saarc members to get together at the earliest to set up appropriate institutional mechanism for sharing best practices related to disaster response and management. Since South Asia is more prone to disasters, India feels Saarc countries should work closely to deal with unexpected eventualities.
As the dust settles on NSA talk fiasco, another India-Pak engagement -- talks between chiefs of Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers -- would take place from September 9 to 13. Sources said ceasefire violation and infiltration from across the border are likely to be raised by India during the meet.