Even as the fate of NSA-level talks hangs in delicate balance, Narendra Modi government has come under the criticism of Opposition parties. The principal opposition party Congress and Jammu & Kashmir based National Conference sought clarification on the Ufa agreement between the two countries and raised questions over the uncertainty on the impending talks between NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistan counterpart Sartaj Aziz.
Congress party went to the extent of saying that there is “no basis for talks” unless India is fully assured that Pakistan will honour its commitments.
“There is no need to show this keenness… We request the Government of India that as long as you are not assured of some proper outcome from the talks, please leave this effort (to hold talks),” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told the press in New Delhi.
Reacting on the uncertainty over the talks, the Deputy leader of Opposition in the Upper House of Parliament alleged that there has been “negligence somewhere” on the part of Narendra Modi government on the issue of talks with Pakistan, which is “now trying to show that India was keen for talks”.
Mr. Sharma also asserted that the stated position of Indian side has always been that talks are not possible unless Pakistan took concrete measures on the issue of terror.
Targeting Prime Minister Modi over the issue, Sharma said, “If your government has deviated from that established policy, then the nation has a right to know what is the basis for doing it”.
The senior Congress leader, however, pointed out that both the countries should definitely talk to resolve the complex issues between themselves.
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also hit out at the Centre and the state government of sabotaging the NSA-level talks by detaining separatist leaders ahead of their meeting with Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.
“Mufti(Mohammad Sayeed)-(Narendra) Modi jugalbandi – first I’ll detain them, then you detain them & together we’ll make sure these talks just don’t take place. Wah!” Omar Abdullah wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter commenting on the detention of separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah at Delhi Airport early on Saturday.
The much anticipated talks between the NSAs of two countries has run into a troubled waters with Pakistan High Commission inviting the Kashmiri separatist leaders to hold a meeting with Sartaj Aziz ahead of the latter’s talks with NSA Ajit Doval in New Delhi.
(With inputs from the PTI)