Hurriyat leaders strongly condemned on Monday the cancellation of scheduled talks between the national security advisers (NSA) of Pakistan and India, Radio Pakistan reported.
Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Ahmad Shah and Muhammad Yasin Malik deplored the cancellation of talks which were scheduled to be held on August 23.
“India is not sincere in resolving the Kashmir dispute peacefully,” the leaders said in a statement.
The leaders also vowed that they would continue their struggle for the right to self-determination, regardless of India’s actions.
Further, the leaders appreciated Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute.
Different interpretations of the Ufa joint statement had led to a blame game that eventually compelled Pakistan to call off the NSA talks just hours before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz was to travel to New Delhi.
While India was adamant that under the Ufa accord, the NSA meeting was restricted to terrorism-related issues, Pakistan insisted the Kashmir issue was very much part of the agenda.
In an interview with India’s CNN-IBN news channel, Aziz admitted that the Ufa agreement was interpreted differently by both the countries. He, however, insisted that Pakistan’s agenda of the NSA talks was in line with the Ufa joint statement.
When asked, Aziz said the DGMOs meeting would go ahead but he would not give the exact date for the senior military officials’ talks. These meetings were aimed at reducing rising tensions along the Line of Control and working boundary. Since the Ufa meeting, there have been at least close to 200 incidents of ceasefire violations reported by both sides along the LoC and working boundary. Both sides accused the other for hostilities.
The stalemate is likely to ratchet up tensions between the two neighbours, although Pakistan hoped the cancellation of talks would not further deteriorate ties. While prospects of resumption of talks seem remote at this stage, the official said both countries would now use ‘backchannel’ to sort out modalities before any future engagements.