Islamabad: Pakistan is willing to attend the meeting of National Security Advisors (NSA) on 23-24 August in New Delhi without any pre-conditions, the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
In response to the ‘advice’ of the Indian Government that Sartaj Aziz not meet Hurriyat leaders during his visit to India, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner that this was not acceptable for Pakistan.
The statement of the Foreign Minister said Kashmir is a disputed territory as per the UN Security Council resolutions which remain unimplemented. Pakistani leadership has always interacted with the Kashmir/Hurriyat leadership, during their visits to India. Pakistan sees no reason to depart from this established past practice. The Hurriyat leaders are true representatives of the Kashmiri people of the Indian occupied Kashmir. Pakistan regards them as genuine stakeholders in the efforts to find a lasting solution of the Kashmir Dispute.
Pakistan has proposed and conveyed to India a comprehensive agenda reflecting the broad understanding reached between the leaders in Ufa, that all outstanding issues, including Kashmir and other disputes, as well as, terrorism issues and other CBMs will be discussed between the two countries.
India’s insistence to introduce conditionalities and restrict the agenda for the dialogue, demonstrates a lack of seriousness on India’s part to meaningfully engage with Pakistan.
No compromise over meeting Hurriyat leaders
Pakistan will make no compromises over a planned meeting with Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders ahead of talks between the two countries’ top security advisers in New Delhi, the political and military leadership decided on Friday.
A high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and also attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in Islamabad today decided that India’s demand not to meet Kashmiri leaders is unacceptable.
It was decided by the political and military leadership that Pakistan would take Hurriyat leaders into complete confidence over the talks with India, sources said.
The meeting reiterated the Pakistani leadership’s wish to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues through dialogue, the sources said.
National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz will be in the Indian capital for talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on August 23 and 24th August as part of efforts to resume the dialogue process between the two countries.
Hurriyat leaders had been invited to a meeting with Aziz at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi ahead of the talks.
India has threatened to cancel the NSA-level talks if Aziz goes ahead with the meeting.
“India has advised Pakistan yesterday that it would not be appropriate for Mr Sartaz Aziz to meet with Hurriyat (separatist) representatives in India,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said on Twitter.
“Such a meeting would not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Ufa understanding to jointly work to combat terrorism,” he said.
On Thursday, India briefly placed three senior Hurriyat leaders under house arrest in Srinagar, only to release them hours later in what was seen widely as a flip-flop on the contentious issue.
But latest reports from Indian media Kashmiri leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Shabir Shah were put under house arrest on Friday, just two days ahead of the crucial talks in New Delhi on Sunday.
In 2014, India cancelled talks between the foreign secretaries of the two nations after Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit met with Hurriyat leaders.