ISLAMABAD: Kashmir and all the outstanding issues will be on the agenda when Pakistan and India resume the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, the National Assembly was told yesterday.

Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, said Pakistan and Indian foreign secretaries will meet in Islamabad on January 15.

The announcement in the parliament came after Pakistan launched investigations into the Pathankot airbase attack despite finding the evidence insufficient. India had earlier linked the foreign secretary-level talks to Pakistan’s action against militants.

There were back-to-back meetings – headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - to take up the important issue. The yesterday’s meeting was attended by key ministers, intelligence chiefs and army chief Raheel Sharif after the last night’s meeting that did not include the military leadership.

After agreeing for talks, Prime Minister Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are struggling to keep the situation under control. Modi had made a surprise stopover in Pakistan last month – becoming the first to visit the nuclear-armed neighbour in around 12 years – raising the hopes for improvement in ties.

After the Pathankot incident, Prime Minister Sharif called premier Modi assuring him of “prompt and decisive” action against groups or individuals who might be linked to the attack. His words have the backing of military who stamped approval yesterday. Pakistan and India will remain in contact as Islamabad believes it needed solid evidence for a stern action.

Sartaj Aziz told the house in a written reply during the ‘Question Hour’ that the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India would discuss modalities of comprehensive bilateral dialogues and its timeframe during the meeting in Islamabad this month.

“As per the joint statement issued during the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan, the comprehensive dialogue would include all outstanding issues including the Kashmir dispute,” he said.

Aziz rejected the assumptions that talks would only be held on the Azad Jammu and Kashmir adding the dispute would be discussed as a whole.

The house was also told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would brief the National Assembly’s standing committee on foreign affairs about Saudi Arab-Iran stand-off and secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India on Tuesday.

Speaking on a point of order, Chairman Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Foreign Affairs Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said the members would be taken into confidence on the issues.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf lawmaker Dr Arif Alvi said Pakistan should not become a party in the Saudi-Iran issue and play a neutral role.

JI parliamentary leader Sahibzada Tariqullah said the government should take the parliament into confidence on the arising situation.

Chairman Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Mehmood Khan Achakzai again raised the issue of non-serious attitude of the ministers towards members’ questions. Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi said the ministers and the ministries must reply on time.

Earlier, during the ‘Question Hour,’ Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan said the government reduced power tariff to Rs 3 per unit for the industrial sector from January 1 to enhance the country’s exports.

To another question, he said the government had taken number to steps to bring women in the commercial activities.

He said that the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan had played a key role and reserved 15 percent quota for women entrepreneurs and new exporters for their participation in international trade fairs/ exhibitions and delegation visiting abroad.

He said the Textiles Policy 2014-19 was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee, adding the policy contained various short to long term initiatives having support schemes and development projects to double the exports of textiles sector from current $13 billion to $26 billion.

Khurram Dastagir Khan informed the house a total of 108,906 visas were issued by the Pakistan missions in the United States during the tenure of the incumbent government.

Speaking on behalf of the foreign ministry, he said, majority of the visas were issued to people of Pakistani origin after following all requirements.

He said, the government was variously pursing legal framework for the welfare of farmers, protection and uplift of agricultural sector.

Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said at present, there were 1.55 million registered and an estimated one million un-registered Afghans living in Pakistan.

Minister of State for Interior and Narcotics Control Mohammed Balighur Rehman informed the house that for the first time in the history of country the government has framed a deportation policy.

Replying to a Calling Attention Notice on illegal migration of Pakistanis to Thailand and Sri Lanka resulting in their detention, he said under this policy Pakistan was now accepting the deportees after ascertaining their identities.