India stalling dialogue to avoid negotiation on Kashmir: Aziz


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Satraj Aziz, on Wednesday said India was avoiding dialogue with Pakistan because that meant issues such as Kashmir will have to be negotiated, reported Radio Pakistan.

Contradicting Indian premier Narendra Modi’s recent statement in which he placed the onus of stalled talks on Pakistan, Aziz asserted Pakistan was not refraining from talks with its neighbour.

He said Pakistan had plans for extensive talks with India on issues such as Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, economic cooperation, trade, visas and the detainment of fishermen, amongst others.

Aziz went on to say the Indian Army had rejected an earlier agreement regarding Siachen between the two governments, as they had “stakes” in the glacier.

The adviser had earlier said he was doubtful of progress towards the normalisation of ties between the two south Asian rivals, and suggested that the situation be managed to prevent tensions.

He had also credited Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts for India’s failed membership bid of the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG).

In a recent interview, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that due to his diplomatic efforts, the world had seen India was not reluctant to engage with Pakistan.

“Our approach has created difficulties for Pakistan, and they find it hard to respond on the matter in the international community,” said Modi.

Modi claimed there are “different types of forces operating in Pakistan”, and asked rhetorically if one has to draw a line or set conditions for dialogue, will it be “with the elected government or other actors?”

After Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan in December last year, the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries were scheduled to meet to discuss modalities regarding the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue agreed upon during Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference in December.

However, the attack on an Indian Airforce base in Pathankot in January this year proved as a big blow for any prospects of constructive dialogue between the neighbouring countries.




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