India, Pak revive back channel talks: Jilani

Tags: News
India and Pakistan have revived "back channel" talks to address terrorism and other issues following the Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif meeting last month, Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani said today.

Disclosing this at an event organised by a leading American think-tank, Jilani said there is a growing realisation in Pakistan on the need to improve ties with India, with special focus on trade and economic relationship.

Following the meeting that Prime Minister Modi had with his Pakistani counterpart Sharif in New Delhi on May 26, Jilani said "back channel" talks have been revived to address issues including terrorism to improve relations.

"There have been proposals to develop a serious mechanism on terrorism," he said, adding that Pakistan has proposed that this should be at the level of National Security Advisor (NSA) so that the two countries are able to take note of all the developments related to terrorism.

Refraining from divulging any details on the back channel talks, Jilani, however, said that NSA-level collaboration was proposed first by Sharif when he met the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York last September.

India has voiced serious concerns over jihadi elements coming into the country from across the border.

"The impression that we had it was taken positively by the Indian side. It still remains on the table. When the dialogue process starts we will revisit the same proposal," Jilani, who was the foreign secretary at that time, said in response to a question at the event organised by the Washington-based think-tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Responding to a question on Pakistan granting most favored nation status to India, he said there is a consensus in Pakistan to grant this status to India.

"It is a matter of any day. There are no issues at all (in granting India MFN status. We should be extending it anytime in the near future," Jilani said.

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