India objects to Pakistan’s Sartaj Aziz meeting with Hurriyat representatives


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In a latest development India reacted strongly to Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz’s meeting with separatists in India. This cast a shadow on the NSA talks between India and Pakistan scheduled to be held on August 23. Confirming its objection to the scheduled meeting between Mr Aziz and the separatists, the official spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup in a series of tweets said the meeting would not be appropriate.

“Yesterday India advised Pakistan that it would not be appropriate for Mr Aziz to meet with Hurriyat representatives in India,” said the MEA spokesperson. “Such a meeting would not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Ufa understanding to jointly work to combat terrorism,” he tweeted. He was referring to the meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa. “We have also sought (confirmation) of our proposed agenda for the NSA level talks that was conveyed to the Pakistani side on 18 August, 2015,” he added

India has been considering options ever since the Pakistan announcement that the separatists were invited to meet Pakistan’s NSA in New Delhi. The government had even placed the separatists under house arrest on August 20 for a few hours, to prevent them from travelling to New Delhi to meet the NSA. They were released a few hours later on orders from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it clear that it would go ahead with the meeting. A Pakistan government spokesperson confirmed that Islamabad “expected India to allow the meeting” as it was normal practice. The official said it was necessary to make the stand clear in a public statement.

Pakistan insisted on broadening the talks covering all important issues while India wants the talks to be confined only to terror. It is now left to Pakistan to respond.