NSA level talks can­celled due to tra­di­tional ob­sti­nacy of In­dia

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

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.

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