Islamabad, Aug 18 IANS | 4 months ago

Pakistan Monday described India's decision to call off foreign secretary-level talks as a "setback" to its efforts to promote good neighbourly relations with India.

In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office said it has been informed of India's decision to call off the talks "taking exception to" the Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi holding meetings with Kashmiri leaders but noted it is a "long standing practice" ahead of bilateral talks to hold meetings with Kashmiri leaders in order to "facilitate meaningful discussions on the issue of Kashmir".

The statement also said that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had "clearly articulated the vision of peace for developmenta and that it was in this spirit that he accepted the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his swearing-in. The meeting between the two foreign secretaries was scheduled at the directive of the two prime ministers", it said.

"The Indian decision is a setback to the efforts by our leadership to promote good neighbourly relations with India."

India conveyed the decision following Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's meeting with separatist Kashmiri leader Shabir Shah in New Delhi Monday for consultations before the foreign secretary-level talks that were to be held Aug 25.

(Posted on 18-08-2014)

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