Pakistan contacts UN over cancellation of NSA-level talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has informed the UN about the last-minute cancellation of the NSA-level talks with India to take the international community into confidence over the Kashmir issue and the situation at the LoC, a media report said on Thursday.

Immediately after cancellation of the meeting between the National Security Advisors of the two countries, Pakistan’s permanent representative at the UN Maleeha Lodhi was instructed to contact the UN leadership to discuss the rejection of dialogue by India, Dawn reported.

“UN deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson was briefed in detail on Monday by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi about India’s setting of preconditions for the talks between the National Security Advisers of the two countries which led to the cancellation of the meeting,” the paper quoted officials saying.

The UN was contacted as part of a decision to take the international community into confidence over Kashmir and the situation at the Line of Control (LoC), it said.

Eliasson was informed that it was India that had reneged on the agreement reached by the Pakistani and Indian Prime Ministers in the Russian city of Ufa on discussing all issues outstanding between the two countries.

The deputy secretary general was also told that Pakistan decided against sending its NSA Sartaj Aziz to Delhi to meet his counterpart Ajit Doval because it found the Indian condition of not inviting Kashmiri separatists for consultations unacceptable.

“Consultations with Kashmiris, who are an integral part of the Kashmir issue, are essential to evolving a peaceful solution,” the UN official was told.

The talks were called off because of differences over the agenda proposed by Islamabad and a planned meeting with the Hurriyat leadership with Aziz.

The meeting between Lodhi and Eliasson was followed by a statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday regretting the cancellation of the talks.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call to both countries to continue to address their differences through dialogue,” the UN said in a statement said.

Earlier, Pakistan had decided that appropriate steps will be taken to highlight the issue of Kashmir and alleged violations by India of the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

Lodhi also raised the issue of ceasefire violations along the LoC.

Pakistan claims that since June, Indian troops have violated the ceasefire more than 130 times on the LoC and Working Boundary, as a result of which 16 Pakistanis have been killed and over 60 others injured.