The much-hyped talks between the National Security Advisers of India and Pakistan have been called off.
It is clear that the recent thaw in bilateral relations was illusionary as the hardened positions of the respective states remain unchanged and a greater level of distrust was reflected in the recent days.
The major roadblock came in the wake of Pakistan’s desire to engage with Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi. This was unacceptable to India, that wanted the talks to be terrorism-centric.
Issues on the table
The Ufa declaration did not preclude Kashmir, but did highlight that the talks will focus on “all issues connected with terrorism.”
Exactly a year ago the Indian government called off its Foreign Secretary’s visit to Islamabad when Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Delhi met a group of Kashmiri separatists.
This is a pattern set by the Modi administration: Look tough, act tough when it comes to Pakistan.
The Indian position on Pakistanis talking to Hurriyat and other Kashmiri representatives is intriguing as it was a routine in the past.
Even during the time of the previous BJP government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, General Musharraf met them during his 2001 India visit. […]