No NSA talks if subject deviates from terrorism: Sushma

New Delhi, Aug 22:

There will be no talks with Pakistan if it insists on making the Hurriyat a third party or discussing Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday, asserting that the talks between the national security advisers of India and Pakistan must focus only on terrorism.

Sushma-SwarajThe minister said that in the spirit of the Simla agreement, there can be no third party, and in the spirit of the Ufa statement, the NSA-level talks would be limited to terrorism.

“Keeping in mind the spirit of the Simla agreement, don’t make Hurriyat a third party to the talks, and keeping the spirit of Ufa, don’t expand the subject of talks beyond terrorism,” she said.

“Pakistan is saying Kashmir is the core issue but they did not say so in Ufa.

“Talk on terror first, we can talk on Kashmir later,” she said.

Pakistan’s NSA Sartaj Aziz is to meet Indian NSA Ajit Doval for talks on August 23-24.

Asked what India’s stand would be if Pakistan insists on including Kashmir, Sushma Swaraj said: “Then there will be no talks.”

The minister said Pakistan’s NSA Sartaj Aziz was welcome to India if the country restricts the subject of talks to terror.

“Come and talk on terror, you are welcome,” she added.

She also said the Pakistani leadership was vulnerable to domestic pressure and was trying to wriggle out of the talks.

The minister said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif faced criticism on the Ufa statement soon after returning to his country and since then efforts have been underway to ensure that the NSA-level talks do not take place.

“All issues were clear in the Ufa statement and both sides agreed but what happened? Even before Nawaz Sharif returned, he faced criticism over the statement. They decided they must do something that the NSA-level talks do not take place,” she said.

“We sent a letter to them on July 23 for holding NSA-level talks in New Delhi on August 23. We received a reply on August 14,” said the minister.

“With the reply, they also sent an agenda, which included other issues apart from terrorism,” she said, stressing that the Ufa talks clearly said the talks had to focus on terror.

Sushma Swaraj also said Pakistan did not give a date for the meeting of the two DGMOs (directors general of military operations) or the meeting between the directors general of the Border Security Force BSF and the Pakistan Rangers.

“They thought if the DGMO meeting takes place ahead of the NSA meeting, it will create a dialogue. They created an atmosphere that all three talks do not take place,” she said.

Sushma Swaraj said there have been 99 ceasefire violations by Pakistan since the Ufa statement, and also mentioned the attack in Gurdaspur of Punjab and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, where a terrorist was arrested.

“Sartaj Aziz said India wants to run away from talks. India does not want to run away but we want an atmosphere so that talks can take place.”

“Had they come to India we would have presented the live terrorist Naved in front of them. That is why they do not want to come. They will give a dossier, we will give a live terrorist,” she said. (IANS)

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