Peace talks between India, Pakistan postponed

Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries announce high-level peace talks between two countries which were scheduled for January 15 have been delayed after attack on Indian air base

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Lahore, Pakistan, Dec. 25, 2015

Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries announced on Thursday that they have agreed to postpone the peace talks between the two countries, which were expected to be held on Jan. 15, to an undetermined date.

However, according to a statement released by the Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup, the meeting will be held in "the very near future."

Top diplomats were scheduled to meet in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Friday to draw a roadmap for talks on settling the Kashmir dispute and other irritants in their ties.

Some reports say the talks have collapsed because of an attack on India’s Pathankot Military Base on Jan. 2, which India blames Jaish-e-Mohammad a Pakistan-based militant group.

However, Swarup denied the claims saying that India welcomes Pakistan’s announcement about the arrest of several people who are believed to have connections with the incident in which seven Indian soldiers and six assailants died.

"The [Pakistani] statement conveys that considerable progress has been made in the investigations being carried out against terrorist elements linked to the Pathankot incident," he said.

"The action against the Jaish-e-Mohammad is an important and positive first step."

An Indian soldier guards at the Indian air force base in Pathankot, India on Jan. 5, 2016 (AP Archive)

Since their independence from Britain, the two rival countries have fought three wars, mostly on Kashmir, the disputed region claimed by both states.

They have had highs and lows in their history of carrying out peace since then.

Early in December 2015, both leaders agreed to restart high-level talks with a brief conversation during climate change talks in Paris that would cover peace and security as well as territorial disputes.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan late in December, to revive dialogue to end the insurgency in the region.  

The last visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier was in 2004, by then leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, known for thawing relations with Islamabad.

TRTWorld and agencies