11.53am: The joint statement issued during the talks between India and Pakistan says that talks were held in a frank and constructive atmosphere. Both sides reiterated their desire to carry forward the dialogue process in a purposeful and result-oriented manner.
It adds that the Foreign Secretaries noted that both countries recognize that terrorism poses a continuing threat to peace and security. They reaffirmed the strong commitment of the two countries to fight and eliminate terrorism in an effective and comprehensive manner so as to eliminate the scourge in all its forms and manifestations.
The statement adds that the “Foreign Secretaries had a comprehensive exchange of views on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and agreed to continue discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner with the view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences.”
11.34am: Mathai says that the possibility of cricketing ties being resumed between India and Pakistan was a decision that had to be taken by the respective cricket boards of the two countries. “There is also a concern of security” he says, but refuses to comment further.
The two foreign Secretaries are scheduled to meet again in Islamabad to prepare for the meeting of Foreign Ministers in September.
11.28am: Mathai and Jalil briefly talk about trade ties and the relationship between India and Pakistan. “We have reached better understanding on many issues over the years”, says Jalil. He adds that there was no reason for trade talks and dialogue to be compromised by Jundal’s allegations, adding that the fact that both countries now talk and discuss their problems in a civilized manner is a positive development.
11.25am: Responding to a question posed by one of the journalists, Jalil says he strongly rejects the insinuation that state actors were involved in the 26/11 attacks. He says however that the dialogue between both countries has improved, and has made significant progress in solving the problem of terrorism together.
Mathai adds that the relevant information has been handed over to Pakistan, and it is expected that appropriate action will be taken. “Bringing the guilty in Mumbai attacks to justice is the biggest confidence building measure”, he said. He adds that the arrest and ongoing interrogation of Abu Jundal has added urgency to bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice.
11.20am: The Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai says that both India and Pakistan have agreed that the biggest threat facing both nations is terrorism. Mathai said that he had shared evidence and information with the Pakistani foreign minister, especially with regard to the revelations made by captured LeT operative Abu Jundal.
The Pakistan foreign secretary adds that terror is a joint threat, and says that the two countries cannot keep blaming each other. He adds that they have asked for more information, and says that they have offered the possibility of a joint investigation.
11.15am: The Pakistani foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani is now addressing the media. He thanks his counterpart Ranjan Mathai for the invitation and says that discussions were frank, open and engaging. He reaffirmed that he came with a clear mandate from the leadership of Pak to promote bilateral relations and that they would make every effort to resolve differences and move forward.
Jilani adds that as the two largest countries in the region, India and Pakistan have a special responsibility to mantain peace, trust and stability. “We are not only close neighbors but partners in SAARC. We must make sincere efforts towards building mutual trust”, he said.
11.10am: A preliminary statement by Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said that both countries reaffirmed their commitment to fighting terrorism, and agreed to continue talks on Jammu and Kashmir and build more CBM’s. People to people contact. He said “We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that the dialogue between our countries is paramount”, he said.
11.00am: The foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan have come to an end, with both sides scheduled to make a statement on what was discussed. The second day of talks on Thursday was expected to centre around the possible release of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, and further discussions on terrorism.
The foreign secretary level talks began on Tuesday with the focus of the first day of the talks on terrorism, especially revelations by recently-arrested LeT operative Abu Jundal on Pakistan’s involvement in Mumbai terror attacks, and Jammu and Kashmir.According to official sources, India flagged its concern over anti-India terror activities being planned from Pakistani soil in the backdrop of arrest of LeT terrorist Abu Jundal who has revealed that he, along with LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, was in the control room in Karachi during 26/11 Mumbai carnage in which 166 people were killed.
The Indian side also raised the issue of Jundal being issued Pakistani passport and Pakistan’s domestic identity cards under the name of Riyasat Ali, to the visiting delegation, indicating the involvement of its state agencies, sources said.
The Foreign Secretaries were assisted by senior officials of both sides, including the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal and Pakistan’s High Commissioner-designate to India Salman Bashir.