India ready for talks with Pakistan, says envoy

Islamabad, May 19 (IANS) India’s High Commissioner to Pakis­tan Gautam Bambawale has said that Pakistan-India talks must be held on all issues, including Kashmir, and added that India was ready and willing to go ahead with dialogue.

Bambawale on Wednesday acknowledged a breakthrough was expected in resumption of the dialogue process after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore, but no date was finalised for foreign secretary-level talks between the two nations, Dawn online reported.

After the attack on the Indian airbase in Pathankot town of Punjab, talks between Pakistan and India were suspended and tension ran high between the two countries, the envoy said.

He said all issues would be taken up whenever the dialogue process resumed, and added that India was willing to expand trade with Pakistan.

Bambawale also said Kulbhushan Jadhav was an Indian national and a request has been made to the Pakistan government for a meeting with him.

Comprehensive dialogue process, started during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad during the Heart of Asia conference, was stalled after the January 2 attack in Pathankot that left seven Indian security personnel killed.

At least six terrorists, believed to be from banned Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohemmed, were also killed in the attack.

India had linked the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan’s action against the group.

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