Foreign Secy Gokhale briefs Tharoor-led panel on Indo-Pak ground situation

Foreign Secy Gokhale briefs Tharoor-led panel on Indo-Pak ground situation

Agency News

New Delhi, Mar 1: In the midst of wide range of issues involved in Indo-Pak relations, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Friday briefed a key parliamentary panel on the ground situation and the government strategies and other matters.

"Yes, he came and briefed us....There was nothing unusual," a source in the committee said.

The crucial briefing to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs by Gokhale was on the subject ‘Indo-Pak Relations in view of new regime in Pakistan'.

"Accordingly, recent developments, the Pulwama attack of February 14 and aerial strike by Air Force on February 26 that destroyed JeM training camp at Balakot also figured," the source said.

However, there was no reference on the need to 'revive' talks at this juncture.

The panel headed by Congress MP and a former UN diplomat Shashi Tharoor was also told about India's ongoing diplomatic offensive to 'isolate' Pakistan in the comity of nations.

Some members at the meeting appreciated the role taken by the Ministry in recent past especially in the context External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj getting the invitation for attending the plenary of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meet at Abu Dhabi.

The 31-member panel has members from both the Houses including the likes of Sugata Bose (Trinamool), Ramen Deka (BJP), Richard Hay (Nominated), Supriya Sule (NCP) and Kanimozhi (DMK).

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is also a member of the panel, but was not present in Friday's deliberations, sources said.

In general, Mr Gokhale briefed the committee about the aerial strike on February 26 in details and told the committee about Pakistan's complicity in the issue of terror and that the existence of massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jihadis in a camp could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.

The government is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism, he told the lawmakers.

Answering to members' questions, the Foreign Secretary reportedly also told them that despite providing information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and also Pak-Occuppied Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad remained in denial mode, sources said. (UNI)