Indo-Pak NSA Talks Should Be Called Off: Yashwant Sinha

New Delhi
Indo-Pak NSA Talks Should Be Called Off: Yashwant Sinha

The upcoming Indo-Pak NSA-level talks should be immediately called off, demanded senior BJP leader and former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha today and said successive Prime Ministers have cherished the thought of getting Nobel Peace Award by resolving Indo-Pak dispute, in an apparent dig at Narendra Modi.

He also called for declaring Pakistan High Commissioner as persona non-grata for "crossing all lines" of diplomatic etiquette by indulging in provocative activities such as inviting Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of Indo-Pak talks.

Asserting that the NSA-level talks could end up achieving opposite to Indian expectations of brokering peace with Pakistan, Sinha told PTI that Modi government has gone back on stated BJP position that terror and talks cannot go together.

"This is not the appropriate occasion for talks. From the time of Vajpayee government it has been our policy that terror and talks cannot go together. This is the consistent policy of BJP as well....The talks should be called off," he said while citing spurt in terror attacks, ceasefire violations as compelling reasons to do so.

Asked what could be the reason for the Prime Minister to go ahead with talks despite so many irritants being injected by Pakistan, he said, "many successive Prime Ministers have cherished this thought of getting Nobel Peace Award by resolving Indo-Pak dispute."

He also accused Pakistan of "vitiating" the atmosphere ahead of the talks between its National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on terror.

Pakistan has used opportunities given by such meetings with India for grandstanding, he said and added that the neighbouring country will come with an counter-argument for every argument put forth by India and a counter-dossier for every Indian dossier on terror.

Sounding critical of the Modi government over its decision to hold talks with Pakistan, Sinha noted that BJP had accused the UPA govt of departing from the Vajpayee dispensation's policy that terror and talks cannot go together.

"If anything, incidents of terror have increased of late, especially after Ufa declaration. A new dimension to the situation has been added by the complete violation of ceasefire along Line of Control and International Border.

"Fresh provocation has been provided by Pakistan with its High Commissioner inviting Hurriyat leader to meet its NSA," he said.

He recalled that Centre had decided to call off foreign secretary-level talks last year after a similar invite to Hurriyat leaders was sent before they were to be held.

"There is complete defiance and complete lack of concern shown by Pakistan, especially their High Commissioner, of Indian sentiments and sensitivities. The atmosphere has been completely vitiated by Pakistan. If these talks are held they will obviously have opposite effect of peace," he said.

 Meanwhile, national executive member of BJP's Scheduled Tribe Morcha Eshfaq-ur-Rehman Poswal has written a letter to Modi requesting him to send a high-level team to J&K's border areas to assess the losses before holding talks with Pakistan.

"We urge the Prime Minister to send a high-level team to the border areas of J&K to assess the losses before holding NSA-level talks with Pakistan," he said.

"Due to ceasefire violations by Pakistan, the border residents, especially those in Rajori-Poonch belt, have suffered huge losses. Apart from property, six people have lost their lives and dozens have been injured," Poswal said.

The team must assess the losses, and the same should be highlighted during NSA-level talks with Pakistan, he said.

He also demanded the government to provide safe shelter to border residents till shelling stops.

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