Islamabad: The national security advisors of India and Pakistan held a “secret” meeting in Thailand, a senior Pakistani official said on Monday, confirming the report that first appeared in the Indian Express last week.
A Pakistani national security division official, on the condition of anonymity, said the meeting between Pakistan’s national security advisor, Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua and India’s NSAAjit Doval took place on December 27 in Thailand, Dawn newspaper reported.
“The meeting was good. Doval’s tone and tenor was friendly and positive,” the official who had been briefed about the meeting disclosed.
He was told the meeting was useful and said it might help in restarting some sort of engagement at the diplomatic level as well, the newspaper said.
“Both sides had agreed to keep the meeting secret, but once the Indian side ‘did not live up to its commitment’ and information about it began appearing in Indian media, Pakistani officials too started sharing their impressions about the interaction,” Dawn reported.
According to the Pakistani official, the meeting came after Indian death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav met with his family on December 25 in Islamabad.
While Pakistan termed its decision to allow Jadhav’s family to travel to Pakistan to meet him a humanitarian gesture, India has accused it of violating mutual understandings, asserting that the Indian national appeared coerced and under considerable stress during the tightly- controlled interaction.
India also accused Pakistan of disregarding th cultural and religious sensibilities of family members under the pretext of security.
Jadhav, who was captured in March last year, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying, an accusation that India has dismissed as concocted.
New Delhi says Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had legitimate business interests, and brought to Pakistan. To save Jadhav, India moved the International Court of Justice, which ordered Pakistan in May to stay his execution.