New Delhi: Two days after talks between foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan ended with with no meeting point on key subjects, the government has described it as an "unofficial courtesy call".
- Pak Foreign Secretary met our Foreign Secretary unofficially: VK Singh
- Many surprised as 90-minute meeting was projected as a 'bilateral'
- India was upset as Pak released a statement during the talks
Union Minister of State VK Singh used the words while responding in Parliament to the Congress' questions on India-Pakistan ties after the Pathankot air base attack and a Pakistani team's visit in March.
"Where we are concerned, JIT (Joint Investigation Team) has gone back, it has conveyed to the foreign secretary when he unofficially on a courtesy call met our foreign secretary that they have to look into our NIA visiting Pakistan. Now he has to go back and take a formal view and convey it to us," Mr Singh said.
The remarks have surprised many since the meeting on Monday between Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry lasted for over 90 minutes and was projected as a bilateral.
The minister, however, says that the Pakistani foreign secretary was here to attend a regional summit on Afghanistan and met his Indian counterpart "unofficially".
India was upset when during the foreign secretary talks, Pakistan neglected basic protocol by releasing a statement describing Jammu and Kashmir as "a core issue that requires a just solution."
India responded by emphasizing that it expects urgent action against Masood Azhar, the chief of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which attacked the Pathankot base in January in which seven military personnel were killed.
"Pakistan cannot be in denial on the impact of terrorism on the bilateral relationship," said New Delhi in a statement.
VK Singh's response came after Congress leader Anand Sharma asked the government to clarify whether Pakistan would reciprocate by allowing an Indian team's visit for Pathankot investigations. The Congress and other opposition parties have accused the government of going out of its way to welcome Pakistani officials, including a member of its Inter Services Intelligence, to tour the Pathankot air base.