NSA level talks cancelled due to traditional obstinacy of India
The talks between National Security Advisers of Pakistan and India, scheduled to be held today, have been cancelled because of traditional obstinacy of New Delhi.
Addressing a news conference in New Delhi yesterday, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had put forth two conditions for the talks. She said only the issue of terrorism will be discussed and that Pakistani National Security Adviser will not meet Hurriyet leadership in New Delhi.
However, Paksitan Foreign Office said no talks can be held if any preconditions are imposed by India. The Foreign Office reminded that terrorism is part of eight-point com- posite dialogue and the issue cannot be discussed by keeping it separate from other issues. Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India had agreed in Russian town of Ufa that all outstanding issues between the two countries will be discussed at talks between two National Security Advisers.
Observers have also pointed out contradictions in the statement of the Indian External Affairs Minister. They said while she spoke of the need of dialogue to resolve bilateral issues, in the next breath she put forth preconditions for the talks between two National Security Advisers. On the other hand, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said that regardless of the ups and downs along the way, the journey would have to be completed through talks, and that war had never solved anything in the world.
Ms Swaraj set near impossible preconditions for the (now cancelled) national security adviser-level talks at her press conference, which looked more designed to deter than to welcome the Pakistan delegation to New Delhi. However, she sounded sanguine that the current stalemate was of a piece with similar setbacks dotting their common path. The briefing preceded the announcement about cancellation of the New Delhi talks slated for Sunday. The minister said India and Pakistan were signatories to the Shimla agreement, which prescribed a strictly bilateral dialogue to resolve their disputes, including Kashmir's fate.