ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is optimistic of foreign secretaries level talks with India soon after the telephonic contact between the two countries premiers last day, official sources said yesterday.

These sources said the issue of dialogue was not discussed in detail between Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi – as PM Sharif meant to condole the temple tragedy in India – but the two agreed to work for better relations and talks to resolve the issues.

Sharif telephoned Modi last night for condolences after the death of more than 100 people in a temple fire incident.

The conversation, officials said, was brief but the two found time to talk about peace and the dialogue being the best option to resolve the bilateral issues.

The foreign secretaries of the two countries were scheduled to meet in mid-January in Islamabad but after the January 2 Pathankot air base attack – that India blamed on Pakistani elements - the talks were postponed.

India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said there would be no talks with Pakistan without action on the ground and ostensibly the postponement of foreign secretaries meeting was consistent with that.

The decision to put off the talks effectively put into limbo the newly restarted dialogue process that had been kicked off by Sharif and Modi. Even so, experts said the fact the talks had not been cancelled should be seen as a positive sign. And despite the postponement of the foreign secretaries meeting, the two sides remained in contact even at the highest level.

In March, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Pokhara, Nepal, at a ministerial summit for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

However, the benefits of that meeting were short-lived. In the final days of March, Pakistani authorities arrested an Indian national, for carrying out espionage activities for India’s Research and Analysis Wing.

Kulbhushan Yadav, the Indian spy, confessed to having worked for RAW on video, but Indian authorities – accepting he was an Indian national - denied he was an agent. Also, in the recent days Pakistan arrested many more RAW agents and Islamabad sought international help against India’s interference.

The officials said Sharif and Modi – who missed a chance to meet in Washington on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit last month as Sharif cancelled his visit – vowed to work together for peace in South Asia.

“There were positive gestures from both the sides. The two agreed that talks were the sole solution to all the problems. We believe the foreign secretaries should meet soon after this contact,” a senior foreign ministry official told The Nation.

He said although formal talks were not held for sometimes, the “link has not broken.”

The official added, “Even the tension after the Pathankot incident and recent firing along the Line of Control could not affect the urge for talks. The good point is the PMs of both the countries wants dialogue.”

The military said India’s Border Security Force resorted to ‘unprovoked’ firing at the LoC in Neza Pir sector last day. The ceasefire violation came after a long lull Pakistan and India’s Directors General of Military Operations had a hotline contact in the backdrop of ceasefire violation by the Indian military. Pakistani DGMO protested against the unprovoked fire by the Indian troops.

Another official said the last day’s telephonic contact between the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India had effectively opened the doors for the formal talks process. “The two sides are already in contact. We will hopefully agree on some schedule soon,” he added.

Analyst Dr Pervez Iqbal Cheema said India should stop violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary. “Many people have been killed so far as a result of unprovoked shelling and firing of Indian forces. India has not supported Pakistani officials in investigation on Pathankot incident. India has also been involved in violating human rights. These issues need to be resolved for result-oriented talks,” he said.

Senator Lt. General Abdul Qayyum said now it was abundantly clear that India had been involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan and trying to destabilize Pakistan by all means.

“Our government is for talks and we have been advocating for dialogue. India must stop the violations along the LoC and end its secret agenda in Pakistan. We should talk sincerely,” the lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan Muslim league (Nawaz) said.