MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the NSA-level engagement is part of "operationallevel talks" and that while India maintains terror and talks cannot go together, talks on terror can definitely go ahead.
He said while India believed that "terror and talks cannot go together but talks on terror can definitely go ahead". MEA also confirmed an earlier report of a "secret meeting" between the NSAs of the two countries. But apart from that, there are other dialogue mechanisms that take place between India and Pakistan like talks at DGMO level, talks between BSF and Pakistan Rangers, there is a regular mechanism.
The spokesperson stated that Doval and Janjua also dwelled upon on how terrorism should not affect "this region" in their "operational-level talks". Raveesh made it clear that the meeting date of the NSAs was pre-decided. "It is not to do with anything which is happening at that point of time", Kumar said.
Asked if more such meetings between the NSAs were scheduled, Mr Kumar said "these operational-level mechanisms do take place... but we don't announce these meeting".
Bilateral talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours are on the back-burner, with tensions running high over territorial issues and terrorism.
A year ago too, there was no movement on India-Pakistan talks though in December, The Indian Express reported that Doval had met his counterpart in Thailand.
During the meeting, Janjua reported raised the issue of targeting of civilians along the Line of Control while Doval spoke of infiltration.
In fact, the two NSAs spoke shortly after the Pathankot attack in January 2016.
On December 31, a newspaper had reported that the two NSAs met in Thailand on December 26.
He maintained that the real issue discussed was "cross border terrorism" from Pakistan that targets India. That was followed, within days, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise stopover in Lahore, to wish Sharif on his birthday on December 25.
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