India confirms NSAs met in Bangkok

India, Pakistan NSAs held meeting, confirms MEA spokesperson, says talks on terror can go ahead

He said India used the opportunity to raise the issue of cross border terrorism, infiltration and safe sanctuaries for terrorists along the border with Pakistan.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it was part of the mechanism to hold Pakistan accountable for the terrorism that emanates from its territory.

India's national security adviser Ajit Doval (right) with his Pakistani counterpart Nasser Khan Janjua. We have said talks and terror can not go together.

The Indian Express had first reported the meeting between the two NSAs, held at a "neutral venue" in Bangkok on December 26. The NSA meeting, he said, was an operational mechanism similar to the DGMO-level talks and meetings between the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers. Despite its position that there can not be any substantive dialogue with Pakistan until Islamabad acts against India-specific terror groups, the government has continued to maintain contact through its mission in Islamabad and also the Pakistan mission here.

The spokesperson stated that Doval and Janjua also dwelled upon on how terrorism should not affect "this region" in their "operational-level talks".

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The Indian Express had also reported that Pakistan has maintained high-level diplomatic contacts with the Indian establishment, even as New Delhi has maintained the rhetoric that terror and talks can not go together. Raveesh made it clear that the meeting date of the NSAs was pre-decided.

In the past four-and-a-half months, new Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood has met the top Indian leadership - External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. This is the second time in two years the two NSA met in Bangkok, the last time being in December 2015.

In fact, the two NSAs spoke shortly after the Pathankot attack in January 2016.

He maintained that the real issue discussed was "cross border terrorism" from Pakistan that targets India.

Modi also visited Pakistan in a surprise stopover on 25 December, 2015, on his way back from Russian Federation and Afghanistan.

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