Islamabad, Aug 23 (IANS) Both Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan and Narendra Modi of India are to blame for the collapse of the NSA level talks, a Pakistani daily said on Sunday.
“Rarely, even by the tortured standards of the Pakistan-India relationship, has there been as much farce and confusion surrounding the now cancelled talks,” the Dawn said in an editorial.
And it blamed both Sharif and Modi for the cancellation on Saturday of the talks between the two national security advisers that was to begin in New Delhi.
“While it was obvious that neither side wanted to be seen to officially call off talks, it was also patently clear that neither side was willing to do much to rescue them in Delhi,” the daily said.
It said that India’s angry reaction to a proposed meeting between Pakistani National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz and Kashmiri separatists “is perhaps a sign of Modi’s true intentions.
“He does not really want dialogue with Pakistan, but does not want to be seen rejecting talks outright in front of the international community.
“Yet, for all the Indian obstinacy, there have been some serious errors by the government in Pakistan,” it said.
“That terrorism was made central to the upcoming round of talks without any mention of the broader Kashmir issue appeared an error on Sharif’s part.”
The daily went on: “Perhaps what is truly discouraging is the trend that has become apparent in the Sharif-Modi era.
“The prime ministers themselves mostly have encouraging words about the bilateral relationship, but they allow their underlings to damage goodwill and trust.
“Modi in particular seems not to have a clear Pakistan policy at all. How does refusing to talk to Pakistan address any of the concerns that India has?
“But Sharif needs to demonstrate stronger leadership internally too. How can a three-term prime minister find himself in a self-created bind?”