Talks cannot be held on basis of preconditions set by India: FO
Sartaj Aziz totally rejected Indian alibi that Pakistan is trying to distort the agenda of talks agreed at Ufa.
Pakistan says proposed National Security Adviser-level talks cannot be held on the basis of preconditions set by India.
In a statement issued in Islamabad, Foreign Office said the main purpose of any dialogue between India and Pakistan is to reduce tensions and restore trust as a first step towards normalization. If the only purpose of National Security Adviser-level talks is to discuss terrorism, then instead of improving the prospects for peace it will only intensify the blame game and further vitiate the atmosphere. That is why Pakistan had suggested that apart from discussion on terrorism related issues, the two sides should also discuss modalities and if possible a time schedule, for discussions on all outstanding issues including Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, in keeping with the understanding of the Ufa statement.
Regarding meeting with Hurriyet leaders, the statement said it would be inappropriate for India to impose the condition that Sartaj Aziz should not meet them.
Earlier, addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Saturday, Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz totally rejected Indian alibi that Pakistan is trying to distort the agenda of talks agreed at Ufa.
He made it clear that the three-point agenda proposed by Pakistan is fully in line with the Ufa statement.
The agenda called for discussing all issues related to terrorism and reviewing progress on actual decisions made at UFA, which includes prompt release of fishermen, better arrangements for religious tourism and activation of mechanisms for restoring peace across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.
He said the third point was intended to explore the modalities for discussions on all other outstanding issues including Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen.
Sartaj Aziz also rejected the Indian assertion that Pakistan has imposed new conditions for the talks. He said in fact it is India which has introduced a new condition through its advice that Pakistan should not meet Hurriyat leaders.
Sartaj Aziz said although the cancellation of the meeting has not been confirmed but if it happens that it will be disappointing and regretful. He called upon the international community to take notice of the Indian attitude.
Sartaj Aziz also dispelled the impression that Pakistan is looking for an exit from talks saying if the meeting happens, he will be carrying three dossiers on RAW's involvement in promoting terrorism in Pakistan. He said if the meeting stands cancelled, he would then hand the dossiers over to the Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New York next month if he accompanied Prime Minister Modi for the UN General Assembly session. He said he can also share the dossiers with the UN Secretary General.
Responding to a question, the Advisor on Foreign Affairs said Pakistan is fully committed to provide political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris struggling for their right to self-determination.
Response of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
Meanwhile, India says there will be no meeting between the National Security Advisors (NSA) of the two countries if Pakistan insists on inclusion of Kashmir in its agenda.
Addressing a news conference in New Delhi on Saturday afternoon, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said if Pakistan National Security Advisor comes to the Indian capital and meets Hurriyat leaders then there would be no talks.
She said talks can only be held on the issue of terrorism and no other issue can form part of the dialogue between the two National Security Advisors.
She claimed outstanding issues including Kashmir are part of the composite dialogue between the two countries but the composite dialogue has not yet resumed.
Indian External Affairs Minister also refused to accept Kashmiris as stakeholders on the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.