India says willing to talk with Pakistan on terror but not Kashmir
NEW DELHI, AUGUST 17 (DNA): Responding to Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s invitation for talks on Kashmir issue, India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar expressed his willingness to visit Islamabad but maintained that “Pakistan has no locus standi in addressing any aspect of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an internal matter of India.”
Highly placed sources said that Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale has handed over New Delhi’s response to Pakistan Foreign Office on Islamabad’s invitation for talks on Kashmir.
“Since aspects related to cross-border terrorism are central to the current situation in J&K, we have proposed that discussions between the foreign secretaries be focused on them,” stated an Indian government source according to Indian media.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is reviewing India‘s response.
Earlier, Pakistan had invited India for talks on Kashmir, saying it is the “international obligation” of both the countries to resolve the issue, notwithstanding India’s insistence that it would talk on “contemporary and relevant” issues in Indo-Pak relations.
“The letter highlights the international obligation of both the countries, India and Pakistan, to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the statement said.
The invitation was extended amid tension in bilateral ties due to the war of words between the two nations over the issue.
Indian-controlled Kashmir has been on the boil since the killing of 22-year-old Burhan Wani, terror outfit Hizbul Mujahiddin’s poster boy for new militancy, by Indian security forces in July.
In the unrest, some 64 civilians have been killed and thousands injured so far in the northern region. Some security forces personnel also sustained injuries in the violence.
India has accused Pakistan of provoking the violence in Kashmir and warned that “Pakistan’s dream of getting Kashmir will not be realised till the end of eternity”. =DNA
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