PM, army chief discuss agenda of Pak-India talks
By Amir Wasim | 8/19/2015

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met his close aides for the second day on Tuesday to discuss issues relating to internal security and foreign policy, but this time in the presence of Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif.

Official sources told Dawn that the meeting was a continuation of Monday`s consultations held by the prime minister with key members of his cabinet. The meeting had approved the agenda for upcoming talks with India in New Delhi.

Before the start of the formal discussion, Mr Sharif had a one-to-one meeting with the army chief. They were later joined by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.

An official handout said that matters relating to `security situation in the country were discussed in the meeting`, but the sources said the prime minister had also taken the army chief into confidence on the agenda for talks with India and sought an input from the military.

According to the sources, the meeting decided to raise the issue of alleged Indian interference in Balochistan and Sindh at the talks between Mr Aziz and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval scheduled to be held on Aug 23 and 24.

The meeting, the sources added, also agreed to raise the issue of continuous violation of the Working Boundary and shelling by Indian security forces in which a number of civilians had lost their lives. Mr Aziz has been reported to have said that Pakistan will send its agenda to India with a confirmation letter for the coming talks so that there is no misunderstanding or ambiguity `about what has to be discussed`.

While discussing issues of internal security on Tuesday, the civil and military leadership vowed to continue the operation against terrorists with full force. They also expressed their determination to continue the operation in Karachi to cleanse the city of militant elements.

In another development, US Secretary of State John Kerry called the prime minister on Tuesday evening. The Prime Minister House confirmed that Mr Sharif had received a telephone call from Mr Kerry, but said nothing about what they had discussed.

Published in Dawn