The all-powerful Pakistan army is heaping pressure on the government not to go ahead with talks between the national security advisers of the two countries that New Delhi proposes to host later this month, sources have said.
While Islamabad is yet to respond to the dates — August 23 and 24 — offered almost two weeks ago by New Delhi for the meeting, its summoning of Indian envoy on Tuesday for alleged ceasefire violations has only added to the uncertainty surrounding the talks that were agreed to when the two Prime Ministers met in the Russian city of Ufa on July 10.
The Pakistan army is known to step up offensive against India — through terror strikes or heavy border firing — to scuttle attempts to improve ties between the two neighbours.
Pakistan was also assessing if going ahead with talks at the present juncture would be beneficial, sources said. When and if they meet, Indian NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz are expected to discuss all issues related to terrorism.
India, said sources in Islamabad, was likely to drive a hard bargain following the recent terror attacks in Gurdaspur and Jammu.
While a Pakistani national was arrested after the Jammu strike on a Border Security Force convoy, the coordinates on the GPS sets recovered from the three militants killed after a day-long siege in Guradspur showed they came from Pakistan.
Pakistan was likely to raise Indian interference in Balochistan and restive tribal areas, sources in Islamabad said. HT wrote on July 22 that Pakistan was preparing a dossier on India’s alleged role in fomenting terror in Balochistan and Aziz might bring it to his meeting with Doval.
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif came in for a lot of flak on his return from Russia for leaving out Kashmir from the joint statement, which is perceived as loaded in India’s favour.
The foreign office wanted to correct the “mistake” and was keen to mollify detractors by being seen as the one setting the agenda.
“This is not just about talks but also about what to show the relevant quarters back home,” an official said in Islamabad, adding the final decision on the talks was yet to be taken.
Protesting India’s alleged ceasefire violation, the foreign office told Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad JP Singh on Tuesday that a civilian injured in Indian firing on August 8 died earlier in the day.
“Pakistan also condemned the latest unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian security forces at the LoC in Nakial sector near Kotli and Bhimber Gali sector on August 9 in which Pakistani posts were targeted,” a statement said.
In the morning, the Indian government told Parliament that Pakistan had violated ceasefire 192 times till July 26, killing four people.