No Talks Without Kashmir on Agenda: Pak

New Delhi: Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s advisor to the prime minister on foreign and security affairs, on Monday said there will be no talks with India without Kashmir on the agenda.

Aziz, who was due in New Delhi on Sunday for talks with national security advisor Ajit Doval on terrorism, also said discussions between the chiefs of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistani Rangers and director generals of military operation (DGMO) of India and Pakistan that were to follow Aziz’s meeting with Doval will take place.

Talking to state-run Pakistan Television, Sartaj Aziz said Kashmir has to be part of any composite dialogue between Pakistan and India.

He said, if Kashmir was not an issue then why 700,000 Indian troops have been deployed there. He said terrorism, which India has been stressing on, was included in the eight-point composite dialogue process.

Aziz  said, Pakistan is an atomic power and has the capability to defend its territory.

“ Pakistan believes Kashmir has to be part of the agenda for any talks. No serious dialogue with India is possible, unless Kashmir is on the agenda. This is a reality that India has to recognize. It cannot wish away that this is not an issue,” Aziz said.

“There is no difference between the Pakistan Army and the political leadership. As far as Kashmir is concerned, not only the political leadership, the whole nation is united that we cannot talk to India without Kashmir,” said Aziz.

Aziz however said, the BSF meeting is confirmed for September 6, and they have already had a preliminary meeting to discuss the agenda. “DGMO talks happen every week anyway and they can agree among themselves whenever they want to meet.”

The national security advisors of India and Pakistan were to meet in New Delhi on 23-24 August, followed by meetings of the border guards and senior military officials. However, the meeting between the two national security advisors did not take place after India and Pakistan exchanged sharp words over the agenda of the talks.

India said the talks would be confined to terrorism while Pakistan said the agenda should include Kashmir. India sought assurances that Pakistan would not discuss terrorism and would not meet with Kashmir separatists in New Delhi. With Pakistan refusing to meet India’s terms, the meeting was called off.

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