Planned talks between the national security advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan fell through because New Delhi refused to allow an expanded agenda and set conditions for the meeting, the Pakistani media reported on Saturday.
News of the collapse of the talks after two days of acrimonious exchanges dominated the front pages of Pakistani dailies along with reports of the Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly being unseated by an election tribunal.
Most of the news reports sought to blame India for the cancellation of the talks that were to be held in New Delhi on Monday. India insisted that the meeting must focus on terrorism and Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz should not meet Hurriyat leaders while Pakistan said talks with conditions would not serve any purpose.
The report on the front page of the influential Dawn newspaper was headlined “NSAs’ talks cancelled over Indian conditions” while the headline in The News was “No talks with preconditions, Pakistan tells India”.
“Amid intense bickering, the government decided on Saturday to cancel the planned meeting of national security advisers with India, citing New Delhi’s refusal to allow an expanded agenda and a meeting with Kashmiri leaders,” the Dawn reported.
“The decision was announced after Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj virtually set a deadline for Pakistan to decide by midnight if it was ready to go ahead with the talks by agreeing not to meet the Kashmiri leaders and restricting the discussion to terrorism,” it added.