India expecting breakthrough in Indo-Pak talks: Report

Islamabad: India was expecting a breakthrough in resuming the Indo-Pak dialogue process under which the two countries could hold talks on all issues, including Kashmir, the Indian envoy here has been quoted as saying in a media report on Thursday.

Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Gautam Bambawale said talks must be held on all issues, including Kashmir, and added that India was ready and will go ahead with the talks.

Bambawale, who reached Lahore yesterday on a two-day visit, told a local TV channel that a breakthrough was expected in the resumption of the dialogue process.

He, however, added that no date has yet been finalised for foreign secretary-level talks.

After the Pathankot airbase attack, talks were suspended and tension ran high between the two countries, he said.

The diplomat said that all issues would be taken up whenever the dialogue process resumed and added that India wanted to expand trade with Pakistan.

“It is highly important to promote trade between the two countries,” the envoy said.

Talking about the alleged Indian “spy” arrested by Pakistan, Bambawale said Kulbhushan Jadhav was an Indian national and a request had been made to Pakistan government for a meeting with him.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was reportedly arrested in Balochistan after he entered from Iran and was accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” in the country.

The India-Pakistan talks, which had started during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference, was stalled after the January 2 attack on Pathankot airbase in which seven Indian security personnel were killed.

India has accused Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack and has linked the resumption of the dialogue process to the action taken by Pakistan against the group.

Expressing delight over the warm welcome accorded to him in Pakistan, the Indian envoy said he had taken tips from former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on how to strengthen ties between the two countries.