On Aug 19 The Pakistan High Commission has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders for consultations with Sartaj Aziz ahead of the National Security Adviser level talks with India in New Delhi on August 23.
Extending the invitation to the separatist leaders Pakistan High Commission invited the chairman of both factions of Hurriyat Conference yesterday.
Doval is scheduled to meet Aziz here for talks on terrorism-related issues for the first time on August 23 in New Delhi, as decided in a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif last month in Ufa in Russia.
India is expected to present strong evidence of terrorism emanating from Pakistan highlighted further by recent attacks in Gurdaspur in Punjab and near Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir.
India’s case is bolstered by the capture of Mohammed Naved Yakub, a Pakistani national and a LeT operative, who carried out an attack on a BSF bus near Udhampur.Naved is from Pakistan’s Faislabad area. During the talks, India is expected to share evidence provided by Naved to prove that he is a Pakistani national and crossed-over from Pakistan to carry out terror attacks in the country.
In other occurrence Pakistan has once again raised the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council.Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said said the 57-member OIC can also contribute to the promotion of global peace and prosperity.
“Collectively, and in cooperation with the UN, it has the capabilities to address and overcome these challenges including Palestine and other Middle East conflicts as well as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” she added
Events Occurred Last Year
Last year India cancelled Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan after its High Commissioner invited separatist leaders for a meeting ahead of the talks.
Pakistan’s engagement with Kashmir separatists has always caused heartburn’s in New Delhi, but never led to the breakdown of dialogue. With the unprecedented response to latest provocation from Pakistan, the Modi government has set the bar high for Islamabad. “Pakistan and powers within that country do not want Indo-Pak ties to be normal,” said defense minister Arun Jaitley while visiting forward posts on the border.
Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit turned down foreign secretary Sujatha Singh when she asked him not to go ahead with his meeting with separatists scheduled later in the day.
Singh warned Basit that the Indian government would take a dim view of the meeting and asked the Pakistani high commissioner to choose between meeting separatists and the government. She dismissed his explanation that his meetings were to facilitate the peace process in Kashmir, saying India needed no such assistance.
The talks between Sujatha Singh and her Pakistani counterpart, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, would have been the first official-level meeting by the Narendra Modi government.
“Pakistan has to decide whom it wants to engage with: with the government of India or the separatists. They should realize that no effort at friendship can be considered genuine if they engage in such unfriendly acts,” said a top-level government functionary.
The Pakistan High Commission reacted to India’s decision by saying that such meetings had happened in the past, like when Mathai met his Jalil Jilani and when Krishna met Hina Khar, the High Commission had met Hurriyat. According to Pakistan diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, India was running away from talks and the decision to call it off was “an attempt to divert attention from internal issues.”
India’s decision came just three days after Modi refrained from attacking Pakistan in his Independence Day address and offered a partnership in the battle against poverty in Saarc countries.
Announcing the cancellation of talks, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “Indian foreign secretary conveyed to the Pakistani high commissioner today, in clear and unambiguous terms, that Pakistan’s continued efforts to interfere in India’s internal affairs were unacceptable. It was underlined that the Pakistani high commissioner’s meetings with these so-called leaders of the Hurriyat undermines the constructive diplomatic engagement initiated by Prime Minister Modi in May on his very first day in office.” The Indian statement questioned Pakistan’s sincerity and questioned its “negative approaches”.
Disregarding India’s views, Basit went ahead to meet Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Yasin Malik.