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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs