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Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 18:50

India, Pak diplomats meet after lengthy hiatus

By Associated Press
India, Pak diplomats meet after lengthy hiatus

Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar (left) gestures while talking with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry as Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit looks on after a meeting at The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi on April 26, 2016. (Photo / Prakash Singh, AFP)

NEW DELHI - India on Tuesday asked Pakistan to rein in terrorist groups operating from its soil and targeting India, expressing dissatisfaction with action taken so far against suspects of an attack on an Indian air force base in January.

During a meeting with visiting Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry in New Delhi, India said it emphasized the need for early and visible progress on investigation into the attack that killed seven Indian soldiers and disrupted peace talks between the two nations over Kashmir and other issues.

India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar "clearly conveyed that Pakistan cannot be in denial on the impact of terrorism on the bilateral relationship. Terrorist groups based in Pakistan targeting India must not be allowed to operate with impunity," India's External Affairs Ministry said.

Pakistan says it has arrested several suspects belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad, a militant group and detained its leader as part of its investigation. India wants Pakistan to quickly prosecute them.

Last month, Pakistan sent five investigators to India to probe the attack. India appears to be evaluating Pakistan's response before it sends Jaishankar to Pakistan to resume the peace talks.

On Tuesday, a statement by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi made no mention of the progress made in investigating the attack. Instead, it said Chaudhry urged for an early renewal of dialogue between the two sides over Kashmir.

Chaudhry also took up with his Indian counterpart the recent capture of an Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, in Pakistan and expressed serious concern over the Indian intelligence agency, called the Research and Analysis Wing, and its "involvement in subversive activities in Baluchistan and Karachi," the statement said.

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 meeting between Indian and Pakistani officials 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, Kyrgyz Republic, 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.

Since their independence from Britain in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir, the Himalayan region that both claim. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the violence, which began in 1989.

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