New Delhi: Shortly after officials from Pak government said that the talks between Sartaj Aziz and Hurriyat leader have been re-scheduled, 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.
As per the media reports, the Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz will now meet Hurriyat leader SAS Geelani on Monday morning.
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."
"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."
Singh's remarks came against the backdrop of the upcoming Indo-Pak NSA-level talks appearing to be virtually off with the two countries locked in a confrontation over Kashmiri separatists leading to a blame game.
India made it clear to Pakistan that a meeting between the separatists and Pakistan's National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, who is scheduled to arrive here on Sunday for the talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, was unacceptable.
Pakistan decided to re-schedule it's talks with Hurriyat leaders after India indicated that the dialogue could be derailed if Pakistan does not change its stance over meeting the Hurriyat leaders ahead the NSA level talks.
Drawing a redline, earlier India had made it clear to Pakistan that a meeting between the separatists and Aziz was not appropriate.
Pakistan reacted strongly to insist that it would not depart from the "established past practice" of interacting with separatist Hurriyat leaders, rejecting India's advice not to go ahead with their meeting with Aziz.
India hit back describing the invitation to Hurriyat representatives as a "provocative action" and accused Pakistan of trying to evade its commitment to engage in a substantive discussion on terrorism as had been agreed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa (Russia) last month.
It said that Islamabad's insistence on meeting Hurriyat leaders as a pre-condition was a complete departure from the Ufa understanding. Moreover, India has always held the position that there are only two, not three, stakeholders in the bilateral relationship.
Unilateral imposition of new conditions and "distortion of the agreed agenda cannot be the basis for going forward," External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.