Talks in Peril, India Asks Pak Not to Meddle With Separatists

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New Delhi: Amid simmering tension over Pakistan’s regular pin pricks across the LOC and Pak invitation to Kashmiri separatists for a meeting with its National Security Advisor (NSA) Sartaz Aziz, reports on Friday said that the Government of India is not in favour of holding a composite dialogue with the neighbouring country.

Media reports today said that in view of Pakistan's 'we care a damn about India's objection', the upcoming talks between Aziz and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval is likely to focus mainly on terror related activities, leaving many others issues of concerns between the two sides.

Importantly, the Ministry of External Affair (MEA) has also advised Sartaz Aziz not to meet the Kashmiri separatists as it would vitiate the political atmosphere ahead of the crucial talks.

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After the arrest and subsequent release of the Hurriyat leaders by the J&K government, both sides have hardened their positions on the separatists ahead of the August 24 talks between the National Security Advisers.

The house arrest and release of Hurriyat leaders – within two hours – in Srinagar on Thursday had added a fresh twist to the diplomatic tussle between Delhi and Islamabad, with the former terming the proposed meeting between Aziz and Kashmiri separatists as ''a grave provocation'' and an unfazed Pakistan deciding to go ahead with meeting.

Pakistan's NSA Aziz is scheduled to arrive in the national capital on August 23 and will meet Hurriyat leaders at a reception at Pakistan House — the High Commissioner’s residence — that evening. Importantly, the two NSAs will meet the next day for talks.

While India wants the Pakistan NSA to meet the separatists after his talks with Doval. For Pakistan, meeting the Hurriyat leaders first is important as “their inputs would help them in talks”, where Aziz will raise the Kashmir issue.

New Delhi has now decided to focus mainly on terrorism during the NSA level talks after Pakistan's defiant attitude.