Choose dialogue or separatists, India dares Pak

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SRINGAR: Amid opposition from Congress as well as extremist Hindu groups, India Monday sternly blocked the Pakistani bid to conduct a made-for-media meeting with Kashmiri separatists ahead of meeting between foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan. 

In a stern and strong message to Pakistan, the government on Monday called off the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks between the two nations. The decision from Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government came after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit issued an invite to Kashmiri separatists. 

“Choose a dialogue with India or separatists,” was India’s message to Pakistan. “Pakistan’s interference in India’s internal affairs is not acceptable,” Foreign Secretary told Pakistan High Commissioner.

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had invited separatist leaders from Kashmir “for consultations” at Delhi ahead of the Foreign Secretary level talks between the two countries on August 25 in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of VHP termed the invite by Basit to Kashmiri separatists as “strange and ironical”, saying the neighbouring country is playing with the sovereignty of India.

“It is very strange and ironical that Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit has dared to invite Kashmiri separatists … in Delhi on August 19 to have consultations ahead of Indo-Pak foreign secretaries’ meet on August 25,” state VHP patron Ramakant Dubey said.

“India has always tried to maintain good relations with the neighboring countries but Pakistan has always responded in a negative way with double standards,” he charged.

On one hand Pakistan is coming for high-level talks while on the other hand, the Pakistan High Commissioner is inviting separatists and that too on the Indian soil. Pakistan has dared to play with the sovereignty of the country, he said.

The Indian Prime Minister has already sent a clear message to Pakistan and other countries to maintain good relations with them but not at the cost of security and sovereignty of the country, he said.

 

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