Expressing disappointmentover India’s Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) pre-conditions for NSA-level talks, Pakistan on Friday said that it was the second time that New Delhi has chosen to go back on a decision mutually agreed upon between the two Prime Ministers.
A statement issued by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the High Commissioner’s invitation to the Kashmiri Hurriyat leadership on August 23 was very much in keeping with the practice and tradition of the past many years.
Pakistan insisted that they were seeing no reason to depart from the established practice.
“The Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders are genuine stakeholders in efforts to find a lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute. For India to refuse to engage in talks with Pakistan on this pretext is a repeat of what it did when it cancelled the Foreign Secretary level talks that were scheduled to be held on August25 last year,” the statement said.
The statement further said that tension between the two countries had increased alarmingly as a result of frequent violations on the Line of Control and Working Boundary, in the past months.
“The need of the hour was for the two countries to engage in sincere and serious dialogue to immediately reduce tensions and to undertake the task of normalization of relations, with sincerity and seriousness,” the statement added.
Pakistan further said that it had proposed a comprehensive agenda, consistent with the decisions taken by the two Prime Ministers in Ufa, which included discussion on all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, as well as terrorism related matters, and other issues such as religious tourism, release of fishermen and peace and tranquillity on the LoC.
“It is not Pakistan that has placed any condition for the talks. In fact, Pakistan has always demonstrated its belief in the dialogue process and is prepared to engage in meaningful talks with India, to resolve all outstanding issues that have bedevilled relations between the two countries, for the past many decades,” Pakistan said in the statement
The statement further said that Pakistan does not disregard agreements or understandings and it is the Indian side which has reneged on commitments agreed upon between the two heads of government in the past one year.
“Pakistan wishes to reiterate its abiding commitment to promoting a relationship of cordiality and cooperation with all its neighbours, including India, in pursuance of the Prime Minister’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood,” it added.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry had said that it would be impossible for the country to accept the advice of the Government on India that Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security, may not meet the Hurriyat leaders.