Pakistan on Sunday blamed what it called “traditional Indian obstinacy” for the cancellation of talks between the National Security Advisers (NSAs) of the two countries. Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz said the agreement reached in Ufa was interpreted differently by both the countries. In an interview to news channel CNN-IBN, Aziz said, “We wanted modalities of Kashmir to be discussed. Holding talks on Kashmir will reduce tension. Ufa objective was to reduce tension, so we need to discuss Kashmir, not terror.” Aziz said the meeting between India and Pakistan Director General of Military Operations will go ahead as planned. However, he also said that Pakistan won’t propose talks in New York and it’s upto India to do so. Talking about underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan, Aziz said India has not given any official proof in this regard. Meanwhile, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the Indian government was pursuing a policy directed at disrupting peace in the region. Talking to state-run Radio Pakistan, the minister said India had sabotaged the scheduled NSAs meeting out of its “fanatic approach.” Asif said that India was in aggressive mode, and Indian forces were violating ceasefire on the Line of Control in Kashmir and working boundary regularly. “Our armed forces are fully capable to protect geopolitical frontiers and sovereignty of the country,” the defence minister warned. The meeting between Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, was to be held on August 24 in New Delhi in accordance with the decision the prime ministers of the two countries took jointly when they met in Russia last month. Addressing a news conference in New Delhi on Saturday, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had put forth two conditions for the talks. She said only the issue of terrorism would be discussed and that Pakistani National Security Adviser would not meet Hurriyet leadership from the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. Pakistan retaliated, saying no talks could be held if preconditions were imposed by India. The Pakistani foreign affairs ministry said while Swaraj spoke of the need of dialogue to resolve bilateral issues, in the next breath she put forth preconditions for the talks. The cancellation of the Delhi meeting further dimmed prospects for restoring peaceful border conditions. The United Nations has urged the two nuclear-armed countries to calm the situation on the LoC and resolve issues through dialogue. Last year in August, India abruptly cancelled a scheduled meeting between the two countries at the foreign secretary level because the Pakistani high commissioner in Delhi had met with Kashmiri separatist leaders.
2015 Kashmir Despatch