New Delhi: New Delhi: Toughening its stance, Pakistan on Friday turned down India's 'advice' not to hold a meeting between its NSA Sartaj Aziz and Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi, saying it will not "depart from an established practice" of interacting with them.
While rejecting New Delhi's stand, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the leadership has always interacted with Hurriyat leaders during their visit to the neighbouring country and it sees no reason to depart from the practice.
Further hardening its stand, the Pakistan MoFA maintained that India's insistence to introduce conditionalities demonstrates lack of seriousness on its part to meaningfully engage with Pakistan.
“Islamabad remains willing to attend the NSAs meeting without any pre-conditions”, the Pakistan MoFA asserted.
Earlier in the day, the Indian establishment said it wanted the parleys to be held but was awaiting Islamabad's response to its advisory asking Pakistani NSA not to meet Kashmiri separatists.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a statement that it would "not be appropriate" for Aziz to meet Hurriyat representatives ahead of the August 23-24 meeting with India's NSA Ajit Doval.
Within hours, Pakistan government sources reacted sharply to Indian position and said, "The talks with Hurriyat are on. Pakistan will not take dictation from India. (Indo-Pak) talks are not based on conditional diplomacy."
Pakistan also accused India of running away from the talks, saying it was yet to send it a proposal on the logistics and agenda for the Aziz-Doval talks.
The two NSAs are scheduled to meet in New Delhi for talks on terrorism-related issues for the first time on August 23, as decided in a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif last month in Ufa in Russia.