In a major admission, India confirmed on Thursday that national security adviser Ajit Doval had indeed met his Pakistani counterpart Lt. Gen. Nasser Khan Janjua (Retd) recently but justified the meeting, saying that while "terror and talks cannot go together", "talks on terror can definitely go ahead". "I agree that talks took place", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a press conference.
Asked if the way the two women were treated came up at the NSA talks, he said: "The focus was on terror and cross-border terrorism". Though China had tried to be a roadblock and to shield Pakistan on the issue, the support of several nations including the United States and Russia, India could succeed to convince FATF.
He maintained that the real issue discussed was "cross border terrorism" from Pakistan that targets India.
National security advisors of India and Pakistan held a "secret" meeting in Thailand, a senior Pakistani official said on January 1.
Kumar also stated that these operational-level mechanisms do take place.
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The meeting also took place just one day after the wife and mother of imprisoned former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav had met him in Islamabad. "Doval's tone and tenor was friendly and positive", the report quoted a Pakistani official who had been briefed about the meeting.
The meeting, reported to have lasted more than two hours, was kept under wraps, but it is believed that the Indian NSA raised the issue of infiltration of militants into Kashmir from across the Line of Control (LoC) with active support from the Pakistan Army.
Another problem addressed was the recent release in Pakistan of Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, causing over 160 deaths.
The meeting between the two NSAs took place in Thailand almost three weeks ago.