'Pakistan will call off talks if India blocks Hurriyat meeting'

Published: August 21, 2015
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PM Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz PHOTO: REUTERS

PM Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: After a series of tense exchanges between India and Pakistan over a scheduled meeting between Sartaj Aziz and Hurriyat leaders, New Delhi on Friday called off National Security Adviser-level talks with Pakistan, reported the Press Trust of India.

Moments before the development took place, Islamabad said it would call off talks between the national security advisers of Pakistan and India if New Delhi attempted to thwart the meeting between Hurriyat leaders and PM’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, a senior government official told The Express Tribune on Friday.

“We cannot be seen as engaging with India if they stop the Hurriyat leaders from meeting us,” said the official when asked whether Pakistan will go ahead with the NSA talks if India puts Kashmiri leaders under house arrest to prevent them from meeting Aziz.

The official, who wished not to be identified, said if Pakistan accepts India’s preconditions, this will set a dangerous precedent for future engagements.

Responding to a question on whether Pakistan is ready to take the blame for the cancellation of talks, the official said, “At this stage, principle is more important.”

The standoff ahead of the talks has now put the much-talked about meeting between the national security advisers in serious danger of being called off.

However, it appears that both sides are playing a ‘staring contest’ to see who ‘blinks’ first.

Read: Pakistan snubs India’s ‘advice’ against meeting Hurriyat

Earlier in the day, Pakistan rejected India’s advice against meeting Hurriyat leaders ahead of rare weekend talks between the two countries’ top security advisers in New Delhi.

“The foreign secretary conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner that it would not be possible for Pakistan to accept this advice,” a press release issued by the Foreign Office said on Friday.

On the other hand, the Indian government Indian government on Friday called Pakistan’s move to invite Hurriyat leaders for consultation, ahead of their National Security Advisors meeting, a ‘provocative’ attempt to “evade its commitment at Ufa to engage in a substantive discussion on terrorism.”

In a statement issued by the Indian External Affairs ministry, spokesperson Vikas Swarup said “The insistence on meeting Hurriyat as a precondition is also a complete departure from the Ufa understanding.”

Swarup further said that the meeting “would not be appropriate” or in “keeping with the spirit” of a pledge to jointly combat the threat from militants.

He claimed that during the meeting between the two prime ministers on the side lines of Shahghai Corporation Organization in Ufa earlier this year, it was decided that they would discuss cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary during the NSA meeting.

The spokesperson further said that “India has always held the position that there are only two stake holders in our relationship, not three.”

India wants talks only on ‘terrorism’

Indian Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that they remain committed to the agreement reached between premiers of Pakistan and India in Ufa, and to engage in a substantive discussion on terrorism, NDTV reported.

Speaking at an event in Lucknow, the Indian home minister said that, “We are firm on our stand that whatever talks, dialogue are held with Pakistan, that should only and only be on terrorism.”

Sigh also asserted that “talks and terrorism could never go together” while elaborating that India’s intentions were clear to have dialogues with Pakistan but ‘that should only be on terrorism’.

“We stick to commitment between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa to engage in a substantive discussion on terrorism,” he said, adding, “It is to be seen what our neighbour have to say.”

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Reader Comments (32)

  • wb
    Aug 21, 2015 - 7:12PM

    Don’t worry old man. India has already called off the talks.

    I’m in favor of calling off of the talks. Sorry. Pakistan is still a teenager. It has to mature up for talks.Recommend

  • AD
    Aug 21, 2015 - 7:38PM

    I luv the stand taken by India.Modi is realy tough nut. Salute.Recommend

  • It's (still) Economy stupid
    Aug 21, 2015 - 7:46PM

    So from now on all bilateral meetings between India and Pakistan will take place in a third country that will not grant visa to All Parties Hurriyat Conference leaders. These two guys will meet in New York on the sideline of UNGA. No local biryani on the menu for either party.Recommend

  • sabi
    Aug 21, 2015 - 7:46PM

    No problem be happy you Modi with your false bravado.We have some very important jobs to finish at home.See you once we are finished with tasks at home!Recommend

  • umii
    Aug 21, 2015 - 7:48PM

    Do never ever believe indians im happy to read that talks has been called of. Pml government would say yes to everything. This decision is taken by general raheel sharif. I guess!Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath
    Aug 21, 2015 - 7:51PM

    India talks called off. You can go back to your usual programming. Karachi operation, MQM walkout, Zardari in Dubai, Zarb-e-Azb, Economic Corridor, Child porn coverup. Don’t forget to say Kashmir is core issue 5 times a day and Pakistan will not move an inch without Kashmir!Recommend

  • DG
    Aug 21, 2015 - 7:56PM

    Though I am not sure this message will be let through but all the same, I would like to mention this.

    It would be good if India recalls the High Commissioner from Pakistan and sends back the Pakistan High Commissioner. Allows minimal presence of consulates and embassy. Same with Indian presence in Pakistan.

    Let this status be for some years. India does not gain anything from Pakistan rather it has to see time and again the U turn of any handshaking.

    Commonwealth – India allowed Pakistan membership and it has started hitting back.
    European market access – India agreed in return of MFN status. That never came
    Lahore treaty – Kargil.
    Mumbai attack, Parliament attack, etc.

    Why should India need to keep the relation at this level, when India does not get any positives from Pakistan. Same goes with Pakistan.

    Let the two countries live without each other.

    Both countries should focus only on friendly countries with whom they can do business and have mindshare.

    Pakistan – India – It is waste of time for both countries. Recommend

  • Zakaria
    Aug 21, 2015 - 8:09PM

    Looks like India called Pakistan’s bluff that it has proofs of india’s involvement. The fact is there is no such proofs. If Pakistan has proofs then they would have showed it till now. And if they wanted to show it,at least this was a golden chance because the meeting was called to discuss Terrorism. Pakistan is again exposed in front of the world. Recommend

  • someone
    Aug 21, 2015 - 8:35PM

    Good going by NS. He wants to keep Pakistan backwards for another decade.Recommend

  • Sayal
    Aug 21, 2015 - 8:36PM

    I dont now why we are adamant to meet Hurriyat leaders from Kashmir. We must consider first Pakistan and its prosperity. as long as I know from Kashmiris living in India they are well off apart of political factor. They have many benefits from the Indian government that they could not imagine from Pakistan who is already suffering in various ailments. Pakistan should not insist on meeting with Hurriyat leaders and talk rationally with Indian counterparts and discuss the plight of Kashmiris (is necessary). For us Pakistan is first.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 21, 2015 - 8:41PM

    So now India has made it clear that Hurriyat is now out of business, the trend is now set and the red line is drawn.From now onwards no meeting.on the basis of old habits by pakistan and hurriyat.Hurriyat meeting before talks are now gone and outdated and will not be tolerated.

    So now who won who lose?
    Pakistan lose
    NSA cancelled
    Commonwealth Cancelled
    Commonwealth Isolated pakistan

    Very good,.Here world will not blame India and will accuse pakistan of deviating from official Ufa agenda as such unilateral additions expected by pakistan excluding joint statements never happens anywhere in the world.It is out of protocol and code of diplomacy.At the end of the day India got its plate full and pakistan an empty plate.Ab ghar me beth kar roti banao.Congrates.Now India will hit pakistan in UN showdown.Now face the diplomatic heat of India if you can.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Aug 21, 2015 - 8:59PM

    With Modi at helm, Pakistan has best chances of solving kashmir problem at one go.

    But it’s playing theatrics. Pakistan is coming to India as guests. It cannot decide whom it wants to meet. When talks take place in Pakistan you can invite everyone you love.

    As such Pakistan can always talk on phone or through Skype with indians whenever it wants.

    It’s sincere request to stop wasting time n get to the hard task of negotiations n problem solving.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath
    Aug 21, 2015 - 9:03PM

    @DG:

    Pakistan’s diplomats should celebrate Eid with Hurriyat on Pakistani soil.Recommend

  • imran bhatt
    Aug 21, 2015 - 9:21PM

    Pakistan insistance of meeting Kashmiri leadership has nothing to do with showing its love and importance of Kashmiris in Indo_Pak parleys but to taunt India.Recommend

  • salman
    Aug 21, 2015 - 9:29PM

    Good development. Say No to Indian dictation. These talks were useless anyways when extremist like Modi is in power.Recommend

  • Assad
    Aug 21, 2015 - 9:30PM

    Good on Pakistan for telling India to go forth and multiply!Recommend

  • Raju Indian
    Aug 21, 2015 - 9:33PM

    It good that this charade is being called off – waste of tax payer money from both sides just to stare each other in the eye! What utter nonsense. India stands to gain nothing from this, other than trying to prove each other wrong. The Hurriyat guys have been propped by ISI funds and have support from hired hands mostly. The rest of J&K does not care for Pakistan beyond ensuring no “armed guests” coming over to create local trouble all the time. I’d rather that India use the tax-payer money to create a foolproof barrier/wall between the countries and eliminate all things Pakistan from its memory and newspapers. Better late than never…Recommend

  • Haider
    Aug 21, 2015 - 9:41PM

    @wb
    A very big nation worried if Pak talks to Hurrayat..
    @DG
    Keep living in pastRecommend

  • R.Subramanian
    Aug 21, 2015 - 9:51PM

    @DG:
    I too feel the same, but Pakistan wants to revenge on India for Bangladesh, so they will continue with Kashmir harping. Whether we have minimal presence or maximum presence there will be terrorism from Pakistan and there will cross border firing to cover the terrorist to cross the border.

    Its a curse to be neighbour of Pakistan. Afghan and India has to face this curse, no other option.Recommend

  • Anousherwan
    Aug 21, 2015 - 10:02PM

    No talks without the core issue of Kashmir. Period!

    The rest is just chai biscuit excrcise and some photo ops. Useless and time wasting as usual.Recommend

  • Last Word
    Aug 21, 2015 - 10:03PM

    Pakistan has been consistently trying to provoke India to cancel the talks namely carrying out two terrorist attacks in India and carrying out heavy firing on border but India did not oblige. Having failed in its initial attempts, Pakistan played its trump cards of meeting Huriayat leaders and changing the set agenda of terrorism to Kashmir. These pre-conditions were made to ensure that no talks takes place on terrorism as Doval would have pinned down Sartaj Aziz with his well prepared dossier against Pakistan. Since the talks are taking place on Indian soil, it is diplomatically incorrect to put conditions and change the agenda of talks which was agreed to between the two PM’s in Russia. If Pakistan cancels talks on its pre-conditions, India will score a diplomatic victory over it. India will tell the international community that its neighbour had intentionally avoided talks which would have lead to its humiliation as India would have presented clinching evidence of Pakistan promoting terror in India.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Aug 21, 2015 - 10:42PM

    Pakistan is free to meet Hurriyat leaders any time of the year. Yasin Malik’s wife even lives in Pakistan and is regular on the Pakistani talk show circuit. By choosing to meet the Hurriyat leadership the evening before the talks, Pakistan indicated that resolving anything with India is not the objective. The real objective is to score points in the Pakistani Media by saying “see we wanted to talk, but India cancelled”. Well guess, what, nobody else in the world cares about Pakistan’s grandstanding. The real losers are Pakistan’s Awam, because another year of hostility with India will mean Pakistan will fall further behind the rest of the world. Recommend

  • curious2
    Aug 21, 2015 - 10:51PM

    Might be a good idea for Pakistan to pay more attention to it’s International image than the religious hardliners at home. If Pakistan cancels the talks their the bad buy – if Pakistan meets with the separatist before the meeting their the bad guy …. it’s not rocket science. Quit being the puppet with India holding the strings!Recommend

  • Aug 21, 2015 - 10:56PM

    gud show pakistan. no need to talk with killers on thousands of inocent kashmiris.Recommend

  • Hmm
    Aug 21, 2015 - 11:38PM

    This man does not understand, last time India called off the talks because of Huriyat people, Now this time Pakistan will call off the talk . This shows Pakistan is governed by their gov or army.Recommend

  • why
    Aug 22, 2015 - 3:13AM

    The country is on track to ruin. There’s problem on all sides – and then there are domestic problems. The state of the country is worse than it was 10 years agoRecommend

  • Liber8
    Aug 22, 2015 - 3:37AM

    @Haider:
    Any kid in the world can tell whether it is India or Pakistan living in past. You guys are so living in pat that you even remember all the glories of Mughal era. Not able to tolerate the reality that Hindus survived and the self proclaimed Ummah of Islam was broken into two thereby creating Pakistan and Bangaldesh. Kashmir is the only hope Pakistan has to break India just because India helped Bangladesh in breaking away from Pakistan. What it forgets is that it has no means, nor strength to do so. Only thing you guys have been trying since 1971 is to bleed us with thousand cuts. Seriously juvenile!! Recommend

  • iAppreciate
    Aug 22, 2015 - 3:59AM

    @Bairooni Haath: I’m glad you guys, from across the border show real Readership of papers and media of Pakistan. How come Pakis enjoy outdoor games and social fun activities more, I wonder. No wonder our papers caters to you guys than us Pakis, lol!Recommend

  • Pakistan zindabad
    Aug 22, 2015 - 4:07AM

    India needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs India here’s why
    -human right violations in kashmir iok
    -it has 1 billion poor people or more
    -it needs a trade corridor to its West e.g cpec type which would bring in hundreds of billions in trade with the Arabs central Asia Russia afghan Iran
    -it’s spending 60-70 billion a year on defence
    -it is creating a bad image in the world
    -look at the rapes and other abuse happening
    -Muslim resentment at Indian Muslims as well
    Well Pakistan would get peace for the kashmiris our farmers would lose out to the Indian farmers there subsidised food prices
    Lose our share of trade on the western markets
    India would get in the security council
    So yes Indians should just leave us alone pak has options eu China Russia USA UK Japan Arabs Iran turkeyRecommend

  • Aug 22, 2015 - 5:13AM

    Sartaz, liKe India care?Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Aug 22, 2015 - 5:58AM

    @AD:
    Modi is a tough nut? Do you guys not remember that literally one day ago, BJP officials boasted that they had a “big surprise” for Pakistan, and then arrest Hurriyat leaders. You all were cheering I bet. Then two hours later, they are all released because the daughter of Mufti Sayeed asked for them to be released. How strong do you think that massive flip-flop made you look? Do you think reversing your house-arrest decision after only a couple of hours makes you look strong and determined? Doubt it. But sigh, in the world of Modi fanatics, the whole picture is lost from the screen. Recommend

  • The Book Says
    Aug 22, 2015 - 6:41AM

    @kk:

    Good for pakistan, destroyer of the lives of minorities. Forget Kashmir, when are you getting Biharis back from BD?Recommend

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