US ‘disappointed’ as India-Pakistan called off talks

RSTV Bureau

aziz_dovalHours after Pakistan called off the Indo-Pak NSA-level talks, the US on Sunday said it was “disappointed” with the development and encouraged the two sides to resume formal dialogue soon.

“We are disappointed the talks will not happen this weekend and encourage India and Pakistan to resume formal dialogue soon,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told PTI.

The spokesperson, however, said the “constructive” interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia, was encouraging.

“We were encouraged by the constructive interaction between the leaders of India and Pakistan earlier this year at Ufa, particularly the announcement of dialogue between the countries’ National Security Advisors,” Kirby said.

Pakistan last night called off the NSA-level talks proposed for today after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj virtually made it clear to Pakistan that discussions on Kashmir and a meeting with separatists will not be acceptable.

Swaraj was reacting to Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz’s remarks that he was willing to come to India for talks without any pre-conditions.

India was also upset over Pakistan including Kashmir as part of the agenda for the NSA talks that was mainly scheduled to discuss terror.

The first-ever NSA-level talks was agreed upon in July in Ufa during a meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan.

Pakistan decision to cancel high level talks came after the press conference of MEA Sushma Swaraj in which she announced that Pakistan has to take decission till Saturday night to restrict to the agenda of terror and non-involvement of Hurriyat for talks to happen.