Foreign secretary-level talks called off after Pakistani high commissioner meets Kashmiri separatists.
India on Monday cancelled talks with Pakistan scheduled for later this month, accusing the Pakistani high commissioner of meeting with Kashmiri separatists.
“I can confirm, the foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan have been called off,” foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told AFP. The two countries were scheduled to meet on Aug. 25
Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had invited Kashmiri separatist leaders for “consultation” last week, according to the Indian press. It reported that Basit had invited Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and Shabir Ahmad Shah to parleys on Kashmir.
The news prompted controversy in India’s Parliament with lawmakers alleging that Pakistan was encouraging separatism on Indian soil, hampering the upcoming talks.
Pakistan and India had restarted diplomatic efforts after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration. Ties were cut off after the 2008 Mumbai attacks by gunmen allegedly trained in Pakistan.