India Conveys Unhappiness To Pak On Aziz-separatists Meeting

India Conveys Unhappiness To Pak On Aziz-separatists Meeting

12 November 2013
The Daily Excelsior


Gurgaon: India today told Pakistan that its “sentiments and sensitivities” have to be respected for meaningful dialogue while expressing unhappiness over the meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor and Kashmiri separatist leaders and termed the ceasefire violations along LoC as “counterproductive”. During a 30-minute meeting between External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz on the margins of the 11th Asia-Europe Foreign Minister (ASEM) conference here, the two stressed the need for their DGMOs to meet at an early date and discuss ways to retain peace and tranquility along the Line of Control. Even after a decision on the meeting of Directors General of Military Operations was taken by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York nearly six weeks back, there has been no movement in this regard. India also pressed Pakistan for expeditious trial in Mumbai terror attack cases in the last of the 20 bilateral meetings Khurshid had on the margins of ASEM, telling Aziz that India has provided Pakistan with all evidence it has asked for. Ahead of the meeting, Khurshid had said there have been events in the recent times that are not seen by the Government or by anybody in India as encouraging, an apparent reference to ceasefire violations along the LoC in which many Indian soldiers have been killed. “I think they are counter-productive and I could not imagine if there is a seriousness in desire to reach some kind of situation in which a dialogue meaningfully to take place, whatever be the end result of that dialogue…. “For a meaningful dialogue to take place (between India and Pakistan), conducive circumstances have to be created and it have to be done by both sides, it can not be only on one side. Some of these events have been somewhat counterproductive, unfortunately,” Khurshid told reporters. Asked about Aziz’s meeting with Hurriyat and other separatist leaders immediately after arriving for the 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers meeting, Khurshid said, “I must say it is important that what we say and what we do, we have to carefully watch. “It’s not that I want to give any gratuitous advice to our very senior colleagues across the border, but if there is seriousness in wanting to communicate and have a meaningful dialogue with India for sustainable peace, it will be necessary to respect India’s point of view, India’s sentiments and sensitivities of our country. “Because this is not a dialogue that happens in isolation, this is a dialogue that is contextual and this is a dialogue that needs public support. And we think that we have done a great deal to help Pakistan Government to get the public support that it needs to be able to have a fair and transparent dialogue with India.” Later briefing reporters on the Khurshid-Aziz meeting, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson said, “It was for approximately 30 minutes and the principal focus of that meeting was to try and take on from where the last diplomatic engagement between India and Pakistan ended and that was the two Prime Ministers meeting in New York.” The two Prime Ministers had agreed that the pre-condition for movement forward between India and Pakistan would be peace and tranquillity on the line of control, he said. “And therefore, there was a discussion on that matter and both agreed that it was important that the DGMOs should meet at an early date because that is what can take this further. In addition, there were also discussions about other issues that we have raised on the agenda and these relate to the Mumbai trial.” The understanding is that the 2003 ceasefire should hold and that peace and tranquillity on the Line of Control was one of the most important CBMs both for India and for Pakistan. “And if that holds, and the DGMOs concur with that and they meet and confirm that, we will proceed further,” the Spokesperson said. Asked if Khurshid raised the Hurriyat meeting issue with Aziz, the Spokesperson said, “Yes, he did raise this issue with his Pakistani counterpart and you have yourself heard what his views are on this and has himself provided the situational and contextual basis on this. “He articulated a similar approach during his discussions with his Pakistani counterpart.” Later, a Pakistan High Commission release said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. “Both sides reviewed bilateral relations in a constructive and forward looking manner,” it added. After meeting Khurshid, Aziz met National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. The Pakistani leader has also sought a meeting with the Prime Minister and it is understood that there was a “window of possibility” for such a meeting.