New Delhi has rejected Pakistan’s proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir, and has sent out a strong message that “cross-border terrorism should be the focus of any dialogue between the two countries.” Indian Foreign Secretary responding to his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s invitation, expressed his willingness to travel to Islamabad but maintained Pakistan has no locus standi to address any aspect of the situation in J&K, which is an internal matter of India, except to put an end to cross-border terrorism and infiltration.
The response was given to Pakistan by Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad Gautam Bambawale. Sources also added,”Since aspects related to cross-border terrorism are central to the current situation in J&K, we have proposed that discussions between the Foreign Secretaries be focused on them. We have also conveyed that Government of India rejects in their entirety the self-serving allegations regarding the situation in J&K, which is an integral part of India where Pakistan has no locus standi.”
On Monday India was invited by Pakistan for talks on Kashmir, saying it is the international obligation of both the countries to resolve the issue. The invitation was extended amid tension in bilateral ties due to the war of words between the two nations over the issue.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup had earlier said: “India would welcome a dialogue on contemporary and relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations. At this time it includes a stoppage of Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism, infiltration of terrorists like Bahadur Ali. Incitement to violence and terrorism across the border, parading of internationally-recognised terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, and a sincere follow up on the Mumbai attack trial and the Pathankot attack investigation in Pakistan.”
The entire dialogue between India and Pakistan comes in the backdrop of Kashmir Issue as both countries have been engaged in a war of words over the statements by Islamabad on the situation in Kashmir which is witnessing unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Wani was described as a martyr by Pakistan, which tried to rasie an international outcry over it and seek international intervention while India has maintained that “Kashmir” is strictly India’s domestic and internal issue.