A Pakistani newspaper reported that Pakistan will stress on laying out a counter terrorism mechanism during the talks.
“On my part, I’m still prepared to go to New Delhi for the NSA talks, but without any preconditions”, Aziz said.
Given that there is no likelihood of India changing its stand that separatist Hurriyat had no role in Indo-Pak talks, the possibility of NSAs meeting is remote.
The Pakistan High Commission’s invitation to hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other separatist leaders to meet Mr.Aziz has upset New Delhi but Pakistan has stuck to the line that such meetings were “routine”. Pakistan says India has failed to give it crucial evidence, such as recordings between the attackers and their handlers.
The game of brinksmanship worsened late on Friday as Pakistan said it was disappointed with India’s decision to put pre-conditions for official talks.
Pro-freedom leaders from Indian-held Kashmir said this week they were invited to meet Aziz on Sunday, just before the top security officials are due to hold their talks.
He refused to share the contents of the dossiers about alleged Indian interference in Pakistan but displayed it to the media.
Aziz made it clear that the talks were not formally cancelled as yet. He said this is the second time that India has chosen to go back on a decision mutually agreed upon between the two Prime Ministers, to engage in a comprehensive dialogue, by coming up with frivolous pretexts. India’s earlier grudging toleration of meetings between Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists ended after Modi’s election a year ago.
Diplomats from both countries, speaking on condition of anonymity, accepted there was little point in pursuing the talks. We have made it clear to Pakistan that hosting of Kashmiri separatists will be contrary to the spirit of the Ufa understanding.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Saturday refused to comment about the detention of separatist Kashmiri leader Shabbir Shah in Delhi saying that the government must have thought in the national interest before taking this step. We are very disturbed about arrest of Hurriyat leaders.
India called off peace talks with Pakistan a year ago after its neighbour consulted the separatists ahead of a meeting between their foreign secretaries. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz claimed that Kashmir was part of the joint statement between the two countries in Ufa. A Pakistani national was also caught alive near Udhampur and his parents have owned him despite the fact that Pakistan had denied that he was its citizen. “Both the countries are bound to hold talks on different issues under the Ufa agreement”, he said.
The meeting between the NSAs was decided by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, at their meeting on the sidelines of SCO summit in Ufa, Russia, last month where they discussed terrorism-related issues. The agenda for the talks has also become a bone of contention between the two sides with New Delhi insisting that the focus should be on terrorism, and Islamabad maintaining that it would leave the agenda open but would definitely discuss Kashmir.