World Bulletin / News Desk
Pakistan has officially announced the cancellation of proposed national security advisers-level talks, which were scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said no talks would take place between Indian and Pakistani national security advisers if Pakistan did not give India an assurance by Saturday night that it would not meet Kashmiri separatists.
"We have come to the conclusion that the proposed NSA level talks between the two countries would not serve any purpose, if conducted on the basis of the two conditions laid down by India," said a statement, issued by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.
Swaraj had demanded that NSA talks be restricted to terrorism only, rather than discussion on all disputed issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.
Rejecting the conditions, Islamabad said the main purpose of any dialogue between India and Pakistan was to reduce tensions and restore trust as a first step towards normalization.
"If the only purpose of NSA level talks is to discuss terrorism, then instead of improving the prospects for peace it will only intensify the blame game and further vitiate the atmosphere," said the statement.
"That is why Pakistan had suggested that apart from discussion on terrorism-related issues, the two sides should also discuss modalities and if possible a time schedule, for discussions on all outstanding issues including Kashmir," the statement added.
With regards the pre-condition regarding meeting with pro-Kashmir independence Hurriyat leaders, the Foreign Office statement said: "It has been pointed out repeatedly that it has been a long-standing practice that whenever Pakistani leaders visited India during the past twenty years, they have been meeting Hurriyat leaders. It would be inappropriate for India to now impose the condition of changing this longstanding practice."
"Pakistan's decision is unfortunate. India did not set any preconditions We only reiterated that Pakistan respect the spirit of the Simla & Ufa Agreements to which it was already committed," said the Indian Foreign Ministry in a statement Saturday evening.
The NSA [national security advisers] level talks were agreed by both Indian and Pakistani prime ministers last month in the Russian city of Ufa. The Simla Agreement was signed between the two countries after the 1971 war.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in Indian held Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed so far in the violence, most of them by Indian forces. India maintains over half a million soldiers in Indian held Kashmir.
A part of Kashmir is also held by China.Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2015, 09:35