New Delhi: Former Pakistan National Security Adviser Lt Gen Nasser Janjua (Retd) has said he had talks with Indian NSA Ajit Doval in a “very good spirit” and that the two countries must overcome the bitterness of the past for relations to remove.

Janjua, who resigned earlier this week after spending nearly three years in office, said in his interactions with Doval both “did not try to win arguments against each other.”

Janjua and Doval had met in Bangkok last December.

Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated in recent months, particularly over cross-border firing across the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Speaking at a conference on “Connectivity and Geo-Economics in South Asia” organised by an Islamabad-based think tank, Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), Janjua said that while stability in South Asia was a pre-requisite for its connectivity, it is only through connectivity that stability and economic growth can be brought about.

Janjua said Pakistan has a central role in the emerging geo-economic order, as it can help connect the countries economically. 

He said a growing economy like India needed access to the rich markets of Europe via Central Asia, adding that Pakistan could provide India with the access it truly desired.

Janjua also said without involving India the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) free trade in the region was quite difficult.

"I was happy to meet Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua, Pakistan's ex-NSA, in Islamabad. He said both he and our NSA AjitDoval held "candid and constructive" talks to improve IndoPak ties," Sudheendhra Kulkarni, who took part in the conference, meanwhile said in a tweet. 

Participants at the conference explored how to achieve connectivity in a region that is beset with old rivalries and instabilities.Some argued that the habit of thinking everything in terms of geopolitics has to change into geo-economics, should the region want to gain maximum from economic initiatives, said a PIPS release.