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India stops short of cancelling NSA talks, Sushma says 'welcome Aziz if terror on agenda, no Hurriyat meet'

Sushma Swaraj claimed that it was clearly decided in Ufa that the NSA-level meeting would focus on the issue of terrorism as there could not be "talk with terror".

News18.com

Updated:August 22, 2015, 5:49 PM IST
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India stops short of cancelling NSA talks, Sushma says 'welcome Aziz if terror on agenda, no Hurriyat meet'
Sushma Swaraj claimed that it was clearly decided in Ufa that the NSA-level meeting would focus on the issue of terrorism as there could not be "talk with terror".

There seems to be no end to the tussle over National Security Advisor (NSA)-level talks with India accusing Pakistan of deviating from the Ufa understanding between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Briefing mediapersons on the issue, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj claimed that it was clearly decided in Ufa that the NSA-level talks would focus on the issue of terrorism as there could not be "talk with terror".

"There cannot be talk with terror, but there can be talk on terror, and it is a must…the understanding in Ufa clearly stated in writing that the agenda was decided," said Sushma, adding that Pakistan was violating the understanding.

On the issue of not allowing Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz to meet Hurriyat leaders, the Union Minister said that it was decided in the Shimla accord that no third party should be involved when India and Pakistan sit to talk.

Stopping short of cancelling the talks, the External Affairs Minister said, "We are ready to welcome Sartaj Aziz if he doesn't involve any third party and if talks remain confined to terror, as discussed in Ufa by the leaders of the two countries."

"Pakistan is running away from talks which will be held only when we get a reply. Time available is only tonight," Swaraj added.

This came just hours after Pakistan made a bid to pass the ball in India's court, with country's NSA Sartaj Aziz telling mediapersons in Islamabad that New Delhi was not willing to accept Kashmir as the prime issue since PM Modi came into power.

Even as he proposed a new date for the meeting with NSA Ajit Doval, Aziz asserted that he was still willing to go to New Delhi for the NSA-level talks.

Blaming India's attitude for the ongoing tussle over his meeting with separatists, Aziz said that New Delhi had been refusing to recognise Kashmir as the most important issue since Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming into power.

"Pakistan wants to discuss modalities of Kashmir issues, it is a complex issue...We never expected any breakthrough in the meeting, but current issues could be resolved," said Aziz.

He further said that Pakistan was worried about the arrest and detention of separatist leaders ahead of NSA-level talks.

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