NSA talks virtually off as India, Pakistan stick to stands

New Delhi/Islamabad, Aug 22 (IANS) Prospects for NSA talks between India and Pakistan looked increasingly bleak on Saturday as Pakistan insisted it will take up the “core” issue of Kashmir while India said that Islamabad must abide by the agenda agreed to at Ufa and only discuss terrorism.

Pakistani National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz, who is slated to travel to India on Sunday for the talks, said at a press conference in Islamabad that he is willing to come for the talks but Kashmir would be on the table and he would also speak with the Kashmiri separatists.

A few hours later, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at a press conference that Aziz was welcome to come to India to meet his counterpart Ajit Doval, but the agenda has to remain within what was agreed to at Russia’s Ufa on July 10 between both their prime ministers.

She said the mandate for the NSA talks was to discuss terrorism related issues only and Aziz should stick to it, and there was no space for the Hurriyat in talks as per the Simla Agreement inked between both countries earlier.

She gave Pakistan till Saturday midnight to give its answer on what it proposed to do.

“Pakistan is saying that Kashmir is the core issue, but that was not said at Ufa. In Ufa, it was decided that all outstanding issues including Kashmir…. but first let us discuss terrorism and violence,” she said.

“Aziz said that he is waiting for my press conference. I am answering – please keep to the Simla and Ufa agreements signed by both our countries.

“As per the Simla agreement spirit, there can be no third party in talks, and the Hurriyat cannot be included. As per the Ufa spirit, don’t increase the agenda. And do come, you are welcome.”

She denied that India was laying any preconditions for the NSA talks, as alleged by Pakistan, and said if Pakistan sticks to its stand of raking up Kashmir at the NSA parley and Aziz meets the Hurriyat, “Toh baatchit nahin hogi (then there will be no talks).”

Sushma Swaraj also said that what Aziz read at his press conference from the Ufa talks between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif was the “preamble” of the joint statement signed by both countries and not the operative part, which said there will be three meetings – between the NSAs to discuss terrorism, talks between the Border Security Force and Pakistani Rangers chiefs, and between the DGMOs.

She contended Pakistan was “running away” from the talks as India has caught a Pakistani terrorist alive after the Udhampur attack. “We have a ‘zinda aadmi (live person) as proof and that is why he is running away; But we are saying please come for talks; we will give you proof. If he gives dossiers we will give him a zinda aadmi,” she said.

She said the operative part of the July 10 Ufa talks was that terrorism and talks cannot go together, and that a productive dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free from terrorism and violence.

Sushma Swaraj claimed that after the Ufa talks there was lot of criticism of Sharif when he returned and Pakistan decided to do something to wriggle out of the talks.

Earlier, Aziz in his press conference in Islamabad said is still prepared to go to New Delhi for talks with Doval and it will be regretful if the talks were cancelled on “flimsy grounds”.

“I am still ready to go to New Delhi to hold talks without any preconditions,” he said.

The atmosphere for the talks soured over Pakistani high commission in India inviting the Jammu and Kashmir separatist leaders to meet Aziz ahead of the NSA talks on August 23-24.

Aziz also maintained that the core issue of Kashmir would be on the agenda of talks. “No serious talks with India are possible without discussion on the core issue of Kashmir.”

Aziz said the Pakistan high commission had invited separatist leaders to enable him to meet a cross-section of leaders and India has said this was unacceptable.”Is it conceivable that a country like India will cancel the talks on such flimsy grounds?” he asked, adding it would be regretful if cancellation happens.

Aziz also said they have prepared three dossiers on alleged activities of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Pakistan and hoped he gets a chance to hand over them to his Indian counterpart.

“If I don’t get an opportunity to hand over the dossiers to Doval in New Delhi, I hope to give it to him in New York next month if he comes with Modi,” he said, adding that he would hand them over to the UN Secretary General. “Cancellation of the talks is not confirmed from our side…we are ready to go for the talks as scheduled…,” he said.

Hours before Aziz spoke in Islamabad, Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah was detained in New Delhi when he flew in from Srinagar to meet the Pakistani NSA, if he arrives as scheduled.

Aziz welcome, but talks only on Ufa agenda: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) India on Saturday lobbed the NSA talks back to Pakistan, saying Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz was welcome to come for the August 23-24 parleys, but he has to stick to the Ufa agenda to discuss only terrorism and the Kashmiri separatists have no place in the dialogue.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, addressing a press conference, said Pakistan only has till Saturday midnight to give its answer to India’s response to Aziz’s press conference in Islamabad earlier in the day that Kashmir was the “core issue” and he would take it up during talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.

“Pakistan is saying that Kashmir is the core issue, but that was not said at Ufa. In Ufa, it was decided that all outstanding issues including Kashmir… but first let us discuss terrorism and violence,” she said.

“The NSAs will talk on all issues relating to terrorism. Aziz said that he is waiting for my press conference. I am answering — please keep to the Simla and Ufa agreements signed by both our countries.

“As per the Simla agreement spirit, there can be no third party in talks, and the Hurriyat cannot be included. As per the Ufa spirit, don’t increase the agenda. And do come, you are welcome.”

Sushma Swaraj denied that India was laying any pre-conditions for the NSA talks, as alleged by Pakistan, and said if Pakistan sticks to its stand of raking up Kashmir at the NSA parleys and Aziz meets the Hurriyat — “Toh baatchit nahin hogi” (then there will be no talks).

She said that what Aziz was reading at his press conference from the Ufa talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif was the “preamble” of the joint statement signed by both countries.

“He was reading the Ufa preamble — the operative part is below. He did not read the operative part, which said there will be three meetings — between the NSAs to discuss terrorism, talks between the DG BSF and Pakistani Rangers, and between the DGMOs.”

On Aziz showing a dossier on alleged Indian intelligence involvement in Pakistan, which he said he would present in New York in case the NSA talks are not held, Sushma Swaraj said dossiers were important documents “and one does not just go about presenting dossiers while walking on the street”.

She said Pakistan was “running away” from the talks as India caught a Pakistani terrorist alive after the Udhampur attack.

“We have a jinda aadmi (live person) as proof and that is why he is running away. But we are saying ‘please come for talks, we will give you proof’. If he gives dossiers, we will give him a jinda aadmi,” she said.

Sushma Swaraj said the operative part of the July 10 Ufa talks was that terrorism and talks cannot go together, and that a productive dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free from terrorism and violence.

She said terrorism and talks were de-linked, and that both sides decided to hold talks separately on border issues and one on peace.

The minister said that after the Ufa talks, there was a lot of criticism of Sharif when he returned to his country, and Pakistan decided to do something to wriggle out of the talks.

Describing India-Pakistan relations as a road “full of potholes, in which the car gets stuck, the tyre gets deflated and there are sudden violent jerks”, she said both sides still manage to gather themselves and talk again.

To a question, she said if the NSA talks are not held, then talks can be held again.

“There are no full stops in diplomacy. There are commas and semi colons.”

5 Comments

  1. Globetrotter’s silent governance (if there is one) is all about making a display of love and friendship towards all. And speaking to no one.

    That is the ploy used by the trader community over the last many centuries to turn one rupee into a crore.

    Smile and smile and smile. Say nothing. It is your words that kill your profits.

    That strategy may work selling chai and ganthias. But as we have found out to our horror, it does not work at the national governance level.

    Sushma Swaraj is in the thick of things, making a display of acting tough. Exactly upon whose instructons is she acting that way is not known to the public. But she gets the bad name, whatever be the outcome. Globetrotter is safe.

    So we have a Central government where the opposition is excluded by the globetrotter’s strategies, and now we have a significant neighbour who is excluded from conversations.

    “Either you must play by our rules, or you must play by our rules”. But if you insist, we have third option: “You must play by our rules”.

    I am sure a few Biharis are paying good attention to globetrotter’s governing style.

  2. In Ufa, it was decided that all outstanding issues including Kashmir…. but first let us discuss terrorism and violence,” Sushma Swaraj said.

    Why should India shun discussing Kashmir, when Kashmir was specifically admitted to be an “outstanding issue” at Ufa?

    If we refuse to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan, it would undo the bilateralism imposed by Indira Gandhi on Pakistan as per Simla Agreement and removing the issue from the jurisdiction of multilateral bodies and third party intervention! Modi has again took the foolish step of undoing Simla Agreement, and now again the UN and USA would poke their ugly nose to the detriment of India .

    Instead of creating situation to thwart the meeting, India should have facilitated the meeting where it had a golden opportunity to present the captured terrorist and all dossiers on Dawood Ibrahim, Kassab etc. and prove the state sponsored terrorism by Pakistan!

    Globe Trotter can only trot and deliver election speeches from foreign soil and even boast that India divided East Pakistan from United Pakistan, as he foolishly said from Dhaka. Even though it is an open secret, he should not have taken the Grandstand that India had indulged in state sponsored terrorism to divide Pakistan in 1971. Even Indira Gandhi did not admit it! For, any allegation which is specifically alleged and not denied, stands proved. Why should Modi prove India had sponsored terrorism?

  3. Manga’s anti-gujarathi hatred can only be justified by the religious bigotry taught by his masters. Look how he mangles his argument by bringing in gujarathi people into Indo-pak tension and gently peddles for ‘conversations’ with our enemy!!! Apparently he is unhappy over India’s stand on playing by our rules when dealing with a terrorist nation!! Having such a pro-pakistan mindset could also be a side-effect of his anti-sanaathana sentiments, once again, taught by foreign masters over centuries. Oh well…

    • Original R.Pai, “Apparently he is unhappy over India’s stand on playing by our rules when dealing with a terrorist nation!!”

      Pakistan wanted to avoid embarrassment of being proved guilty through the dossiers and overwhelming evidence in the hands of India, provided by live terrorists captured by the local Indians and handed over to our forces.

      Pakistan wanted to cover up the evidence of Dawood being in Pakistan, found out by the Indian TY Channels. Therefore, they tried to wriggle out from such a mess by meeting the Kashmiri terrorists, so that the NSA level meet is thwarted.

      Modi and RSS were fooled by Pakistan and coolly entered the trap laid by Pakistan. India should have went ahead with the meet and proved to the international community that Pakistan is indulging in extraterritorial state sponsored terrorism!

      Modi is unfit for diplomatic wars. Real war he has no guts to wage! He can only “walk the talk!”

      They can only worship states like Israel, but never act boldly as Israel did!!!They were comparing India with that miniscule state of Israel all the time, intended only to Insult India ruled by Congress.

      ORIGINAL DUPLICATES ARE STUMPED BY PAKISTAN.

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