Indo-Pak talks cancelled on flimsy ground, says PDP

Srinagar, Aug 18: The meeting between Pakistan High Commissioner and Hurriyat leaders is a “very flimsy ground” for the government to shelve its bold initiative of resuming diplomatic talks with Pakistan, PDP said today. Expressing her disappointment, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the cancellation was a highly negative development that casts a shadow on the atmosphere of reconciliation generated by the invitation to Nawaz Sharif for the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The meeting between Pakistan High Commissioner and Hurriyat leaders is nothing new and it is a very flimsy ground for shelving bold initiative that was taken by BJP government in resuming diplomatic talks with Pakistan,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief said in a statement here.

“Inspite of the realisation that there is no alternative to dialogue between two countries, it is beyond comprehension as to what is achieved by such knee jerk reaction to routine events like the Pakistan High Commission invite to separatists which has been a tradition for many years,” she said. She said such meetings had taken place during the Congress-led government and also during the previous NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“If this could be tolerated then it makes hardly any sense for them now to be seen as provocative,” she said. Mehbooba said Indo-Pak relations have become a “cat and mouse game” between BJP and Congress and both try to create hurdles in normalisation process when they are in opposition.

If Sharm-al-Shiekh was sabotaged by BJP, it is now the Congress which has taken it upon itself to subvert the Modi initiative for resumption of talks, alleged Mehbooba. ”In the process, Jammu and Kashmir continues to suffer the hostility between the two countries and the people of the state obviously feel?saddened,” she said.

Angered by Pakistan’s consultations with Kashmiri separatists, India today called off next week’s talks between Foreign Secretaries, telling it bluntly to choose between an Indo-Pak dialogue or hobnobbing with the separatists.