India on Monday called off foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan which were scheduled to be held on August 25 in Islamabad. The Indian government had said that it was calling off the talks in the wake of Kashmiri separatist leaders being invited to the Pakistan High Commission to meet with High Commissioner Abdul Basit.
The Pakistan envoy met one of the separatist leaders Shabir Shah this afternoon. The Indian government tersely said that it was seeing these meetings as a direct interference in India’s internal affairs, which it could not accept. Earlier today, Shah during his meeting at the Pak-High Commission had expressed a need to hold trilateral talks between India, Pakistan and the representatives of Kashmir.
Official Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin also tweeted that the foreign secretary's visit to Pakistan has been cancelled.
Foreign Secretary's visit to Pakistan cancelled http://t.co/K8itH83SX8
— Syed Akbaruddin (@MEAIndia) August 18, 2014
It is reported that the Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh informed Pakistan High Commissioner that her talks with Pakistan counterpart on August 25 in Islamabad now stand cancelled.
Talking to scribes over the matter, Akbaruddin, said, “At a time when serious initiative was taken to take bilateral ties forward, invite to Hurriyat leaders raises questions about Pak’s sincerity.” “Pak High Commissioner's meeting with so called Hurriyat leaders undermined the constructive diplomatic arrangements made by PM Modi,” the MEA spokesperson added.
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(With agency inputs)