India calls off foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan
NEW DELHI: India on Monday called off the foreign
secretary level talks with Pakistan scheduled for August 25 after the latter’s
high commissioner Abdul Basit held talks with separatist Kashmiri leaders here.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin
said the talks have been called off as “no useful purpose will be served” by Foreign
Secretary Sujatha Singh’s visit to Islamabad. “Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh’s
visit to Islamabad for talks on Aug 25 stands cancelled,” he said.
He added that Pakistan’s interference in India’s
internal matters, which “continued unabated”, was unacceptable. “It was
underlined that Pakistan high commissioner’s meeting with the so-called leaders
of the Hurriyat undermined constructive diplomatic engagement initiated by the
prime minister (Narendra Modi) on his very first day in office,” Akbaruddin
“Indian foreign secretary, therefore, conveyed to the
Pakistan high commissioner today (Monday) in clear, unambiguous terms that
Pakistan's continued efforts to interfere with India's internal affairs were
unacceptable,” he said.
Pakistan can resolve issues with India only if it
allows the bilateral dialogue to be guided by the Simla Agreement of 1972 and
the Lahore Declaration, he added. “The only path available to Pakistan is to
resolve outstanding issues with peaceful, bilateral dialogue within the
framework and principles of Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration,”