Peace process with In­dia is sus­pended: Pak en­voy

Ab­dul Ba­sit says NIA un­likely to be given ac­cess to Jaish chief

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Pak­istani en­voy Ab­dul Ba­sit said on Thurs­day the di­a­logue with In­dia is sus­pended as there are no plans for the for­eign sec­re­taries to meet, while hint­ing that the NIA will not be given ac­cess to JeM chief Ma­sood Azhar for the Pathankot at­tack probe.

The as­sault on the Pathankot air­base, blamed on Pak­istan-based Jaish-e-Mo­hammed (JeM), dis­rupted fresh ef­forts to place trou­bled bi­lat­eral ties on an even keel and Ba­sit’s re­marks re­flected a new low in the diplo­matic im­passe.

The ar­rest of al­leged RAW agent Kulb­hushan Jad­hav in Balochis­tan also trig­gered a row be­tween the two sides. China’s de­ci­sion last week to block In­dia’s move at the UN to des­ig­nate Azhar a ter­ror­ist has added to ten­sions.

“I would say the di­a­logue is sus­pended,” Ba­sit said dur­ing an in­ter­ac­tion at the For­eign Cor­re­spon­dents Club, re­spond­ing to a ques­tion on the sta­tus of the com­pre­hen­sive di­a­logue an­nounced by ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj and Pak­istan’s for­eign pol­icy chief Sar­taj Aziz last De­cem­ber.

“There is no meet­ing sched­uled be­tween the for­eign sec­re­taries... Let’s see if we are able to com­mence the di­a­logue process,” he said.

Ba­sit cre­ated a stir by say­ing a Pak­istani JIT visit to In­dia to probe the Pathankot at­tack was not based on rec­i­proc­ity — the com­plete op­po­site of what ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry spokesper­son Vikas Swarup said sev­eral times though the day. “The visit of the Pak­istan JIT was not based on rec­i­proc­ity, but on a spirit of co­op­er­a­tion,” Ba­sit said when asked whether an NIA team would be al­lowed to visit Pak­istan.

CON­TIN­UED ON P12

I would say the di­a­logue is sus­pended. There is no meet­ing sched­uled be­tween the for­eign sec­re­taries... Let’s see if we are able to com­mence the di­a­logue process. AB­DUL BA­SIT, Pak High Com­mis­sioner to In­dia

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