Days after planned talks between India and Pakistan collapsed amidst intense acrimony, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said any dialogue with India that does not include the Kashmir issue will be futile.
Chairing a meeting of his cabinet in Islamabad on Monday, Sharif further said Kashmiri leaders were “not the third party but an important party” to the Kashmir issue.
Any dialogue with India without Kashmir would be futile and any decision about the future of Kashmiris could not be taken without consulting them, Sharif was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
Won't take 'dictation' from India: Pak on talks with Hurriyat leaders
Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the Prime Minister on national security and foreign affairs, briefed the meeting on the deadlock in talks with India.
A planned meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) collapsed on Saturday after sharp differences emerged on the agenda of the talks and Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz’s plans to meet separatist Kashmiri leaders in New Delhi.
India said the talks could go ahead if Pakistan gave an assurance that Aziz would not meet Hurriyat leaders and the talks focussed on terrorism. Pakistan insisted it would go ahead with the meeting with the Hurriyat and that the talks should cover all outstanding issues, including Kashmir.
Aziz, who was scheduled to travel to India on August 23 for the first meeting of the NSAs, later accused India” of acting like a regional superpower and said Pakistan is a nuclear-armed country capable of defending itself.
“Modi’s India acts as if they are a regional superpower, we are a nuclear-armed country and we know how to defend ourselves,” he was quoted as saying by the media.
“India should realise after the current episode that their tactics are not working, and they need to be sincere about dialogue with Pakistan.”