Published On : Sat, Aug 22nd, 2015

NSA-level talks: Pakistan puts the onus back on India




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Islamabad/New Delhi: Putting the onus back on India, Pakistan on Saturday said it was prepared for NSA-level talks without any pre-conditions amid continuing signs that the meeting was unlikely to take place.

National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, who is scheduled to travel to New Delhi tomorrow for talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, told a press conference in Islamabad that he is ready to travel to India as per schedule but without any pre-conditions.

He was sharply critical of the Indian government for its insistence that he should not meet Kashmiri separatist leaders while in New Delhi and said this was akin to controlling the guest list for a reception being held for him at the Pakistan High Commission tomorrow.

“Cancellation (of the talks) is yet to be confirmed from either side. Therefore, we are ready to go as per schedule without any pre-condition,” 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 Indian position will be clear later this afternoon when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets media at 4 PM in New Delhi.

Aziz termed as nothing “further from the truth” the Indian External Affairs Ministry statement that Pakistan was trying to distort the agenda agreed at Ufa and imposing new conditions for the talks.

“The statement of Indian External ministry that Pakistan has imposed new conditions totally ignores the last sentence in the note handed over to the Indian High Commission that Pakistan is ready to hold NSA-level talks without any pre-conditions,” he said while addressing the press conference at the Foreign Office.

“In fact, it is India that has imposed new conditions that Pakistan cannot meet Hurriyat leaders, assuming the right to determine the guest list of for the High Commissioner’s reception,” he said.

Both sides have refused to budge from their positions on the agenda of the talks and the invitation to Hurriyat leaders for a meeting with Aziz.

Responding to a question, Aziz said, “Pakistan wishes to resolve all issues with India on the negotiating table, but no serious talks with India are possible without discussion on the core issue of Kashmir.”

He said Pakistan has prepared three-point agenda which included terrorism, progress on decision made at Ufa and discussion on all outstanding issues that includes Kashmir.

“Is it conceivable that India would cancel first ministerial meeting on such a flimsy grounds relating to meeting with Hurriyat leaders,” he said.

In provocative remarks, Aziz said he will be carrying three dossiers on India’s RAW activities in Pakistan.

“If I don’t get opportunity to hand over the dossiers to Indian NSA in New Delhi, I hope to give it to him in New York next month if he comes with PM Narendra Modi” for the UN General Assembly session.

He was asked about reports in the Indian media that Doval will hand over dossiers to Aziz stating that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, whose presence in Pakistan has been denied by Islamabad, is very much in that country.