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Pakistan calls off NSA-level talks, hell bent on raking up Kashmir; India terms decision 'unfortunate'

Finally calling off the National Security Agency (NSA) level talks, Pakistan Minister of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Saturday reiterated that the scheduled programme can not be held on the basis of the pre-conditions set by India.


Pakistan calls off NSA-level talks, hell bent on raking up Kashmir; India terms decision 'unfortunate'
Pakistan calls off NSA-level talks with India

New Delhi/Islamabad: Finally calling off the National Security Agency (NSA) level talks, Pakistan Minister of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Saturday reiterated that the scheduled programme cannot be held on the conditions laid down by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

A statement issued by Pakistan Ministry of External Affairs said that Islamabad has carefully analysed the contents of the press conference of the Sushma Swaraj this afternoon.

According to news agency ANI, Pak MoFA said, “We have come to a conclusion that 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.”

“Main purpose of any dialogue between India and Pakistan is to reduce tensions and restore trust as a first step towards normalisation,” the Pak MoFA added.

MoFA further added, “If only purpose of NSA level talks is to discuss terrorism, then instead of improving prospects for peace it will only intensify the blame game and further vitiate the atmosphere. That is why Pakistan had suggested that apart from discussion on terrorism related issues, the two sides should also discuss modalities and if possible a time schedule for discussions on all outstanding issues including Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, in keeping with the understanding of the Ufa statement.  That is the only way to improve the prospects for peace between the two countries.” 

"The EAM’s attempt to draw a distinction between preambular and operative paragraphs in the Ufa statement appears to be an after-thought to justify a position that is counterproductive in terms of ultimate objective of reducing tensions&improving trust," the MoFA said.

The MoFA added, "Considering that many terror “incidents”blamed initially by India on Pak eventually turned out to be fake,its not improbable that India can delay the Resumed Dialogue indefinitely by concocting one or two incidents and keeping the LoC hot."

Meanwhile, India termed Pakistan's decision of cancelling the talks as 'unfortunate'.

"Pakistan's decision is unfortunate. India did not set any preconditions," spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup said in a tweet.

Pakistan's announcement brought to an end the battle of attrition as to who would blink first. That the talks was a non-starter was evident in the last two days in view of the acrimonious exchanges between the two sides but the last straw appeared to be External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's virtual ultimatum to Pakistan to give a clear commitment by midnight that it would not go ahead with meeting the separatists.

"There will be no talks," Swaraj declared when asked what would happen if Pakistan did not accept the position outlined by her on separatists and Kashmir though she maintained these were not pre-conditions.

The Minister was reacting to Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz's remarks earlier in the day that he was willing to come to India for talks without any pre-conditions. Aziz's talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on terror-related issues was scheduled to have taken place in Delhi on Monday.

What became a red rag for New Delhi was the invitation by the Pakistan High Commission to Hurriyat leaders to meet Aziz ahead of the first-ever NSA-level talks, which was agreed upon in Ufa in Russia in July during the meeting between the two prime ministers--Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif.

India was also upset over Pakistan including Kashmir as part of the agenda for the NSA talks that was mainly scheduled to discuss terror.

 

From Zee News

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