The possibility of India and Pakistan resuming talks with a high-level political meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York looks very slim with New Delhi unwilling to make ‘the first move’ as insisted by Islamabad.
Complicating matters further are indications that a day before PM Narendra Modi’s UN address, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif may make a strong pitch on the Kashmir issue in his speech to the world body on September 26.
Government sources told HT there was ‘no plan at all’ to ask Islamabad for a Modi-Sharif meet in New York. The same attitude prevails for any interaction between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistan counterpart Sartaz Aziz, both of whom will be at the UNGA at the same time, sources added.
India had called off foreign secretary-level talks, slated for August 25, after the Pakistan envoy to India Abdul Basit met Hurriyat leaders despite strong opposition from New Delhi.
Since then, Pakistan has insisted that the onus is on India to restart talks of any form, even as there have been separate courtesy meetings between Basit and national security adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary Sujatha Singh in recent times.
But for the Indian government, making much concession on its stand on talks with Pakistan is a difficult choice to make ahead of the assembly polls in J&K.