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

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.