Nawaz Meets Army Brass Ahead of India Talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tuesday said that the issue of Indian interference in the country, including Delhi’s alleged support for terrorist activities were top on agenda in the upcoming talks scheduled to take place on August 23 and 24.

Following  in-depth consultations between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his close aides, Chief of Army Staff  Gen Raheel Sharif and Director-General ISI Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar called on the premier on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming visit of Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi, dawn reported.

The meeting that lasted three hours, was also attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Sartaj Aziz and Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi.

During the meeting, the military leadership gave its input on the subject of alleged Indian interference and emphasised that Pakistan must present its view point on core issues during the talks in a forceful manner, the report said.

The meeting also decided to keep ‘unprovoked’ Indian firing at the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary and the killing of Pakistani civilians on the agenda of the upcoming meetings in New Delhi.

Quoting highly-placed sources report said that Pakistan will stress on laying out a counter-terrorism mechanism between the two countries during next week’s talks.

Some participants pushed for issues such as Samjhota Express, involvement in Balochistan and violations across the LoC to be discussed in an upfront manner with India. It was decided, however, that while these issues should be discussed, the focus should remain on the resumption of secretary-level talks. 

Sartaj Aziz recently told reporters after attending a function in Islamabad that Pakistan would send its agenda to India with a confirmation letter for the coming talks so that there could be no misunderstanding or ambiguity “about what has to be discussed”.

India invited Mr Aziz earlier this month to a meeting with his counterpart Ajit Doval in New Delhi on Aug 23 and 24. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had agreed during their talks in Russia last month on convening a meeting of the national security advisers to discuss issues relating to terrorism.

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