News / Asia

India Cancels Talks With Pakistan

Indian policemen secure the area outside the Pakistan High Commission as Kashmiri separatist leaders arrive for talks with the Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi, India, Aug. 19, 2014.
Indian policemen secure the area outside the Pakistan High Commission as Kashmiri separatist leaders arrive for talks with the Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi, India, Aug. 19, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha

India on Monday called off next week’s talks between India and Pakistan’s foreign secretaries after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit met with a Kashmiri separatist leader in New Delhi.

Indian officials had advised against the meeting, saying it would jeopardize the upcoming talks.

Basit was to meet more Kashmiri separatist leaders on Tuesday, deepening anger in New Delhi.

As the meeting took place, activists staged noisy protests outside the Pakistan High Commission.

Dozens of protesters were detained by Indian police as they chanted anti-Pakistan slogans outside the Pakistan High Commission. They were demanding the High Commissioner be sent home for holding talks with Kashmiri separatists.
 
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was among those who met Ambassador Basit on Tuesday.
 
Sending a message

Previous Indian governments had also objected to the interactions between Pakistani diplomats and Kashmiri separatists, but tolerated them.

However, Neelam Deo, a  former diplomat and director at think tank Gateway House in Mumbai, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has sent a clear message that Pakistan will have to choose between talking to the Indian government or to the separatists.
 
“That’s a very unfriendly thing they [Pakistan] have been doing always and that is part of why the relationship does not move forward,” Deo said. “New Delhi made its position clear to the Pakistanis. The Pakistanis chose to be provocative after they had already been advised by New Delhi what it would do in the circumstances. Then what could have been the content and the tone of the talks?”
 
Pakistan expressed surprise at India’s strong objections to its consultations with Kashmiri separatists, saying this has been the usual practice before any dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad.
 
The blow to peace prospects comes three months after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended Modi’s inauguration, raising hopes of improving ties between the South Asian rivals.
 
Next week’s talks were meant to discuss the way forward between the two countries, whose peace dialogue was stalled by the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Kashmir issue

South Asia expert S.D. Muni at the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, said picking up the talks again will be contingent on Pakistan not putting the sensitive issue of Kashmir at the forefront.

But he said this may be difficult at a time when Sharif is under intense pressure from domestic rivals.
 
“I would still see it as a bump, not a serious jeopardy, but much of that bump would depend upon whether Pakistan will still continue to cross the kind of red lines which are very sensitive and this Hindu dominated government would not be internally able to sustain,” Muni said.
 
Analysts such as Deo are optimistic that the rivals will keep open other channels of communication.
 
“I think that there will be some continuation of progress in the talks that are underway on trade issues, hopefully on the supply of electricity by India to Pakistan. If those things continue to move, then that is actually more important than the noise of the relationship,” Deo said.
 
The decision to scrap the dialogue comes at a time when India has also accused Pakistan of a series of cease-fire violations in Kashmir in recent days.

Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley called the violations “deliberate.”
 
Kashmir is divided between the two countries and has been the trigger for two of their three wars.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid