The fate of the soon to be held NSA talks between India and Pakistan on August 23-24 hangs in balance. It is still uncertain whether Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval would indeed meet his Pakistani counterpart, Sartaz Aziz. Though it has got no connection with the talks doing the rounds across media circles of both countries since last evening, the likelihood of these talks seem significantly reduced in the last few days.
One key factor in the entire scheme of things seems to be Hurriyat. While India had made it clear to Pakistan in no uncertain terms that Pakistan is best advised to not indulge in any talks with the Kashmiri Separatists during the course of the NSA level talks, Pakistan seem to be ignoring India’s request. They consider the Hurriyat a significant stakeholder in the Kashmir dispute and want them onboard.
As the mudslinging and sabre rattling between the two parties continue, any formal decision on the future of these talks is yet to be taken. Both countries are playing it by the ear but Pakistan has made it amply clear to India that they are keen on talks, provided it is without condition. Conditional diplomacy wherein India dictates terms in not there preferred format.
This has however elicited a strong response from the Ministry of External Affairs as well. They are of the view that,”The statement by the Government of Pakistan today on the NSA level talks with India does not come as a surprise. There has been a pattern to Pakistan’s actions after the Ufa Summit and today’s position is a culmination of that approach.”
While it continues to be anyone’s guess about the future of the talks between India and Pakistan scheduled on August 23, India seems to be clear in its agenda that Hurriyat cannot be part of the talk and Pakistan in its insistence to include them is denying the spirit of Ufa Summit.