SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-India has called off forthcoming foreign secretary-level talks with neighboring Pakistan after Pakistani Ambassador to India Abdul Basit met Kashmiri pro-independence leaders in New Delhi.
Spokesman for India’s External Affairs Ministry, Syed Akbaruddin, said Monday’s meeting between the Pakistani envoy and leaders from the political front Hurriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir (HCJK) has “undermined efforts” by New Delhi to resume a dialogue process with Islamabad. “Under the present circumstances, it is felt that no useful purpose will be served by the foreign secretary of India going to Islamabad next week,” Akbaruddin said. India’s Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was due to travel to Pakistan for talks with her counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhury on August 25. On Monday, prominent pro-independence leader Shabir Ahmad Shah emphasized that bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan would not resolve the Kashmir issue as people of the Himalayan region of Kashmir are principal party to the dispute. Islamabad and New Delhi have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947. The arch rivals lay claim over the whole region but control parts of it. India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control in 2003, and a year later launched talks aimed at brokering a regional peace. The process was however suspended after over 160 people lost their lives in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
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