August 19, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
New Delhi, India (August 19, 2014): Pakistan has expressed concerns over cancellation of 25 August Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan. Talks were cancelled by India after Pakistan invited pro-freedom Kashmiri leaders for “consultations”. Pakistan has described the cancellation of next week’s Foreign Secretary-level talks as a “setback” to Indo-Pak ties.
Pakistan also defended its consultations with Kashmiri leaders, saying it was a “long-standing practice” to hold such meetings prior to bilateral parleys.
“The Indian decision is a setback to the efforts by our leadership to promote good neighbourly relations with India,” the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.
The statement came after India today called off talks between Foreign Secretaries of the two countries scheduled to be held in Islamabad on August 25, telling Pakistan bluntly to choose between an Indo-Pak dialogue or hobnobbing with the Kashmiri leaders.
India cancelled the talks, raising strong objections to consultations held with separatist Hurriyat leaders by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit.
The meeting between the two Foreign Secretaries was scheduled at the directive of the Prime Ministers of both countries.
“Our High Commissioner in India has been informed by the Ministry of External Affairs that the Government of India, taking exception to the High Commissioner’s meetings with Kashmiri leaders, has decided to call off the Foreign Secretary-level talks,” statement by Pakistan officials said.
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