Gupt Gupshup in Bangkok

The most discreetly organised Indo-Pak NSA meeting of recent times, held in Bangkok, left no loose ends in order to ensure the talks make progress, even while discussing the very issues over which they had sharp differences only four months ago ­ discussing Kashmir and cross-border terror at the same platform.
The meeting paved the way for external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to travel to Islamabad, while drawing criticism from the opposition Congress, which said the government had capitulated to Pakistan's demand of clubbing Kashmir and terror during talks. In August, the Modi government decided to stick to the Ufa agreement between the two PMs that the NSAs of both the nations would hold talks in New Delhi on all issues connected to terrorism. Pakistan, which insisted on expanding the scope of the dialogue to include Kashmir, called off the NSA-level meeting.
Yet, by the first week of December, the NSAs and foreign secretaries of both countries sat at the same table to discuss both terror and Kashmir. It had been reported last week that Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit had met NSA AK Doval in mid-November to re-launch the dialogue, before a tête-à-tête between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Paris on November 30 took many by surprise.
After the NSA-foreign secretary level talks ended in the Thai capital, the government said Swaraj would travel to Islamabad to attend the Heart of Asia conference, ending the uncertainty over who would represent India. The December 8-9 meeting is aimed at bringing peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.
The Bangkok meeting attracted criticism, with NDA ally Shiv Sena and opposition parties seeking to corner the Modi government inside and outside Parliament over the secret NSA-level talks. The Congress accused the government of making a “fundamental departure“ from its position on Indo-Pak ties.
Even BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, a former external affairs minister, questioned the government's strategy .

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