This Article is From Aug 23, 2015

Why Didn't Pakistan Raise Kashmir in Ufa, Asks Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Why Didn't Pakistan Raise Kashmir in Ufa, Asks Home Minister Rajnath Singh

File photo: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

New Delhi: India has hit out at Pakistan a day after the latter called off the NSA level talks, with Union home minister Rajnath Singh asking that if Pakistan was keen on raising the Kashmir issue, why didn't they mention the matter during the talks in Russia's Ufa.

"Why didn't Pakistan raise the Kashmir issue in Ufa in Russia when the two Prime Ministers met last month?" Mr Singh demanded.

"It was understood that no third party will come in this meeting... They should have decided on this agenda earlier," the minister said. "Now Pakistan needs to decide what they want to do."

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held bilateral talks with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif, where it was decided to restart and the dialogue between the two countries.

The National Security Advisor level talks were expected to take the process forward, but the agenda agreed on was terror, which was scuttled after Pakistan insisted on raising Kashmir and meeting the leaders of Hurriyat.

"We will continue to try for cordial relations with Pakistan... it up to them to decide," the minister said.

After three days of back and forth between the two countries, Pakistan had called off the talks late last evening, saying it could not meet the terms that India had said were non-negotiable -- That Kashmir will not be part of the agenda, and Pakistan's NSA Sartaj Aziz would not meet Kashmiri separatists in Delhi.

India has throughout asserted that it will stick to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Uffa -- that the talks will be on terror. The resolution had hardened following a couple of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and the arrest of a Pakistani terrorist in the run-up to the talks.
But the Pakistan government said the talks would not "serve any purpose", if conducted on the basis of the two conditions.