India on Wednesday rejected Pakistan’s proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir and asserted that it would like to discuss aspects related to cross-border terrorism which are central to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Responding to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s invitation, India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar expressed his willingness to travel to Islamabad but maintained Pakistan has no locus standi in addressing any aspect of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an internal matter of India, except to put an end to cross-border terrorism and infiltration.
The response was handed over to Pakistan by Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad Gautam Bambawale. “Since aspects related to cross-border terrorism are central to the current situation in J&K, we have proposed that discussions between the Foreign Secretaries be focused on them.
“We have also conveyed that Government of India rejects in their entirety the self-serving allegations regarding the situation in J&K, which is an integral part of India where Pakistan has no locus standi,” the sources added.
Pakistan on Monday had invited India for talks on Kashmir, saying it is the “international obligation” of both the countries to resolve the issue.
The invitation was extended amid tension in bilateral ties due to the war of words between the two nations over the issue.
Last week, while reacting to a statement by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz regarding the invitation, India had made it clear that it would talk on “contemporary and relevant” issues in Indo-Pak relations and at this time it included stoppage of Pak-supported cross-border terrorism.