New Delhi: India on Friday lodged strong protest against Pakistan's engagement with Hurriyat leaders ahead of NSA level talks between the two nations.
Addressing a press conference, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarap said that India has always maintained there are only two stakeholders in our relationship, not three.
“In Ufa both PMs agreed on a meeting of NSAs to discuss all issues connected to terrorism as well as ensure peace and tranquility at border. Instead we saw a sharp increase in unprovoked firing from Pak side and some serious cross border terror incidents. Last one at Udhampur resulted in capture of a Pak national, a matter that would have come up in NSA level talks to Pak’s discomfort. India remains committed to discussing issues with Pakistan bilaterally and peacefully,” Swaroop was quoted as saying by ANI.
He further added, “the statement by Pakistan government on NSA level talks with India has not come as a surprise for us. Pakistan's position indicates reluctance to go forward. It was India which took the initiative to engage in talks in Ufa. Pakistan took 22 days to respond to the proposal of New Delhi.”
"The only agenda which was agreed during Ufa was to discuss only terrorism," he said.
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Also, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that India has made its stand clear that National Security Level (NSA) level talks will take place on the issue of terrorism.
Speaking at an event in Lucknow, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "We are firm on our stand that whatever talks are held with Pakistan should only be on terrorism."
In a clear message to the Pakistan High Commission, which has invited hardline Kashmir separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others separatists, India said such a meeting would not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the understanding reached at UFA, Russia to jointly work to combat terrorism.
"India has advised Pakistan yesterday that it would not be appropriate for Sartaz Aziz to meet with Hurriyat representatives in India," Swaroop had said in a tweet.
(With Agency inputs)