Kashmir Issue: Government Issues Veiled Warning To Separatists

20 March 2015
Livemint
Elizabeth Roche

New Delhi: India will not tolerate any involvement by any party other than Pakistan in resolving the Kashmir problem, the foreign ministry said on Friday. 'We have stated repeatedly and let me clarify again that our position has been that we are committed to resolving all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, bilaterally with Pakistan through a peaceful bilateral dialogue and that there was never and will never be any scope whatsoever for involvement of any third party,' ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. The comment was in response to a question on India's view of Kashmiri separatists attending Pakistan's national day celebrations next Monday. Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will lead a delegation to attend the function in New Delhi. India called off talks between foreign secretaries in August that were aimed at exploring a resumption of dialogue to resolve all disputes, including the dragging feud over Kashmir after the Pakistani envoy in New Delhi called in Kashmiri separatists for consultations over the talks. Signs of a thaw came with foreign secretary S. Jaishankar travelling to Pakistan in the first week of March as part of a diplomatic swing through four South Asian countries. Since taking office in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed on improving ties with India's immediate neighbours and, as an illustration of this point, invited the heads of government of all South Asian countries for his swearing-in ceremony on 26 May. On Friday, Akbaruddin disclosed that Modi had written to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, with the letter being delivered by Jaishankar, but he did not disclose the contents. When asked if India considered Pakistan the fountainhead of terrorism and what India intended to about it, Akbaruddin said: 'Anti-terror operations are never publicized.' He did not elaborate. India accuses Pakistan of supporting an Islamist insurgency in Kashmir and acts of terrorism in other parts of the country. On Friday, three security personnel, a civilian and two militants were killed in a suicide attack on Raj Bagh Police station in Kathua district of Jammu, news reports said. When asked what India would do if Kashmiri separatists visited the Pakistani high commission on Monday, Akbaruddin said: 'Wait and see. In decision-making, surprise is always an element that needs to be taken into consideration.'