Islamabad, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz said here on Saturday he is still prepared to go to New Delhi for talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and it will be regretful if the talks were cancelled on “flimsy grounds”. Since then, Indian and Pakistani troops have fired at each other in the disputed border region of Kashmir.
Swaraj had told reporters that Pakistan had time only till Saturday night to give a categorical assurance that it would not discuss Kashmir issue and rope in separatists from Kashmir.
Tewari was commenting a day after both India and Pakistan traded verbal volleys and disagreements over what they would agree to talk about during the proposed national security advisor-level talks that were scheduled to be held on August 24 in New Delhi.
Aziz said the Pakistan high commission had invited separatist leaders to enable him to meet a cross-section of leaders.
The hostility between Pakistan and India dates back seven decades, but strains have grown since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Mod, a Hindu nationalist, took office a year ago. “Main objective of any dialogue between India and Pakistan is to reduce tensions and restore trust as a first step towards normalisation”. Pakistan has always been stubborn in its approach.
Aakar Patel, a long-time Modi observer and the new head of Amnesty global in India, said New Delhi’s position had been weakened. “If we are serious about getting something out of them, we have to engage with them”.
One Jagdish with handle nativerooster said, “Pakistan is infamous for ball tampering and now we will see who has real balls??” Swaraj said on Saturday Sharif was under domestic pressure to pull out.
All leading newspapers carried the story about cancellation of NSA-level talks on the front page, highlighting the Indian “pre-conditions” which, according to local media, led to the breakdown of parleys. Swaraj said there had been 91 ceasefire violations since the meeting between Modi and Sharif in Ufa in Russian Federation.