August 2016 News

India Rejects Talks With Pakistan On Kashmir

26 August 2016
The Hindu
Nayanima Basu

New Delhi: India on Friday confirmed that it has rejected the offer made by Pakistan to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on the issue of Kashmir even as it stated that the government seeks a result-oriented dialogue on the issue. 'Foreign Secretary has conveyed that the Government of India seeks a result oriented dialogue on the subject. As Pakistan is aware, the intended result at issue is the early vacation by Pakistan of its illegal occupation. Foreign Secretary has reiterated that the basis for further discussions are the Simla Agreement of 1972, the Lahore Declaration of 1999 and the Joint Statement of 2004,' Vikas Swarup, JS (XP) and Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar had stated this in a letter to his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry on August 24, who had written to him on August 19 to hold a dialogue on the recent uprising in Kashmir. 'The Foreign Secretary has underlined that as far as terrorism is concerned, not just India but the larger region is acutely aware that Pakistan is actually a prime perpetrator,' Swarup said citing the recent arrest of LeT-trained militant Bahadur Ali from Pakistan. 'Foreign Secretary further made it explicit that the agenda before India and Pakistan today is clearly to put an end to cross-border terrorism and incitement to violence from Pakistan. Foreign Secretary conveyed his readiness to be available to engage any time at mutual convenience on these issues. However, he mentioned that justifying terrorism and interference in the internal affairs of India is hardly a serious basis for a result-oriented dialogue,' he added. Swarup said India hoped that Pakistan will reconsider its approach and show sincerity towards promoting good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence. 'What I would say is that terrorism and providing support and sanctuary and safe havens to terrorists and making the distinction between good and bad terrorists has posed enormous risk to peace and stability in our region. And it is important for Pakistan to recognize that reality, to not remain in denial on the impact of cross border terrorism on bilateral relations. I think the sooner Pakistan recognizes the central importance of this fact, the sooner India Pakistan relations can make progress,' he said. Meanwhile, Pakistan foreign ministry 'regretted' India's refusal to hold the talks. The Adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, briefed the Ambassadors of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK and USA) and the European Union in Islamabad on Friday over the killings and serious human rights violations being committed by the Indian occupation forces in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK).