India, Pakistan only stakeholders on issue of J&K, no one else: Govt

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 18:09

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: India on Tuesday hit back at Pakistan`s contention that the talking to separatists was the bottom-line for talks between the two countries was to engage all stakeholders.

Reacting to the assertions by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Pakistan’s approach is different from one laid by Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration, no one else,” adding, “This principle is the bedrock of our bilateral relation.”

Addressing the press MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin also said, “Pakistan assured us they were committed to peaceful dialogue process on J&K and will not allow Pakistan’s territory to be used for terrorism against us. But we now know, especially after Mumbai attacks and manner in which Pak pursued the trials, that this assurance had no meaning,” as per ANI.
He further said, “Pakistan’s approach is different from one laid by Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration,” adding, “An approach different to the one laid down in the Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration does not yield results in India-Pakistan relations.”

The MEA`s official twitter handle also echoed the same sentiments.

A defiant Pakistan today made it clear that it will continue talking to Kashmiri separatists despite India`s protestation, saying that the "bottomline" for Indo-Pak talks on Kashmir issue was to engage all stakeholders and dialogue was not a favour by Pakistan to India or vice versa.
At the same time, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said his country "attaches enormous importance" to its ties with India and that there was no need to be "pessimistic" about cancellation of the Foreign Secretary-level talks.

"We need to engage with all stakeholders. It is not a question of either, or as far as we are concerned. We are engaging with India to find peaceful ways," Basit said during an interaction with foreign journalists here while reacting to India`s stand that Pakistan should either choose dialogue with separatists or Indian government, PTI reported.

Justifying his meeting with the Kashmiri separatists, which was objected to by India, Basit said, "We strongly believe that our interaction is helpful to the process itself. It is helpful to find peaceful solution to the problem. It is important to engage with all stakeholders. So that is the bottomline for us."

Asserting that he has not breached any protocol by holding talks with Kashmiri separatists, Basit said, "This has been a long-standing practice. We have been meeting the Kashmiri leaders...It is important to engage with all the stakeholders to find a peaceful solution to the issue."

India had called off the talks between Foreign Secretaries slated for August 25, telling Pakistan bluntly to choose between an Indo-Pak dialogue or hobnobbing with the separatists.

With PTI inputs



First Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 18:09

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