Pakistan needles India again, invites New Delhi for talks on Kashmir
Two days after India said that it would only talk on "contemporary and relevant" issues with Islamabad, Pakistan officially invited New Delhi for talks on Kashmir saying it is the "international obligation" of both the countries to resolve the issue.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in a statement that Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale was called to hand over a letter of invitation for talks.
"The Foreign Secretary (Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry) called in the Indian High Commissioner this afternoon (15 August 2016) and handed over a letter addressed to his Indian counterpart, inviting him to visit Pakistan for talks on Jammu and Kashmir dispute that has been the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan," Zakaria said.
The invitation was extended amid tension in bilateral ties due to the war of words between the two nations over the issue.
"The letter highlights the international obligation of both the countries, India and Pakistan, to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions," the statement said.
Pakistan's advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Friday that its Foreign Secretary would write a letter to his Indian counterpart to extend a formal invitation for the talks.
He told the media that Pakistan would invite India for the Kashmir talks despite the stalled Composite Dialogue process between the two countries.
He said last week that a conference of envoys of Pakistan earlier this month had agreed that Pakistan seek talks with India.
India virtually turned down Pakistan's proposal saying that it would talk on "contemporary and relevant" issues in Indo-Pak relations.
"India would welcome a dialogue on contemporary and relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
“At this time they include a stoppage of Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism, infiltration of terrorists like Bahadur Ali, incitement to violence and terrorism across the border, parading of internationally recognized terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, and sincere follow-up on the Mumbai attack trial and the Pathankot attack investigation in Pakistan," he stated.
(With PTI inputs)