India, Pakistan cancel NSA talks amid slanging match: It’s K word again

It’s a depressingly predictable piece of theatre, and once again it’s the K word that has wrecked the planned talks between national security advisers of the perennially prickly neighbours, India and Pakistan. The much- touted talks between the NSAs of the two estranged neighbours were cancelled after an intense slanging match following Islamabad inviting the Kashmiri separatist leaders to meet Sartaz Aziz in New Delhi. The Modi government drew the red line when it cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks a year ago on grounds of the Pakistani envoy inviting separatist leaders for a meeting. This time round, New Delhi has reinforced the red line with an added conviction.

India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had issued an ultimatum to Pakistan to respond by the midnight of August 23 on continuing talks without Pakistan’s NSA meeting the separatists. By the late hours of August 22, Pakistan responded saying it cannot attend the meet as India was imposing pre- conditions and called off the meeting.

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