India uncertain on fate of planned high-level Pakistan meets

Indian officials say fate of two other meetings is also not clear and will take a few days for some more clarity


Afp August 23, 2015
PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI: Indian officials said on Sunday that two planned meetings with Pakistani counterparts are now uncertain after talks between their national security advisers were cancelled amid a row over disputed Kashmir.

Pakistan said late Saturday it could not accept India's "preconditions" for the talks which had been scheduled for Sunday in New Delhi, effectively cancelling them.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said Saturday that apart from Sunday's meeting two other high-level meetings of officials had been planned to discuss border and ceasefire violations.

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Cross-border shelling in Kashmir this month has caused several civilian deaths on both sides.

The minister said the meetings plan had been agreed by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif when they met in the Russian city of Ufa last month.

"We have already described the cancellation of NSAs (national security advisers) meet by Pakistan as unfortunate," a senior foreign ministry official told AFP on Sunday, referring to an earlier Tweet by the ministry.

Read: Pakistan-India deadlock: Foreign policy wizards expect regional peace to suffer

"Now, the fate of those other two meetings is also not clear... it will take a few days for some more clarity."

Swaraj had given Islamabad till Saturday midnight to agree to restrict the NSA talks to "terrorism only" after a row over Pakistan's plan to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders and its insistence on broadening the scope of the talks.

Swaraj insisted that what Pakistan described as "preconditions" were actually "the agenda for NSAs meet which both leaders agreed to in Ufa".

Read: US expresses disappointment over cancellation of Pakistan, India peace talks

In response to Swaraj's comments, Pakistan's foreign ministry said "the scheduled NSA-level talks cannot be held on the basis of the preconditions set by India".

"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 the minister," it said in a statement.

Last year India cancelled talks with Pakistan because of a meeting between Islamabad and Kashmiri separatist officials, a move that set back already tense relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region since both gained independence in 1947, and it remains a major source of tension.

COMMENTS (21)

Salman | 6 years ago | Reply Get a Life Indians. What are you teaching us ? you are trying to burn next door neighbor and shout for heat? You complain for Hafiz saeed and spare the Samjhoota express convict Swami Aseemanand? You talk about lakhnavi while You give state funeral to Sarbajeet singh for killing 25 Innocent people ? Separate the east Pakistan and claim Pakistan is fueling Kashmir? Talk about peace so why shouldn't we start with Simla accord? Stop day dreaming and crying like a child every morning. World is not ready to buy old stories. Just in-case you threat for war , You are more than welcome . Deal with the pigeon and move on.
Sarfaraz Abbasi | 6 years ago | Reply @Tony Singh: And you know that as an outsider!!!
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