LAHORE: The citizens of both India and Pakistan have expressed regret over the cancellation of the foreign secretary-level talks by the Indian government.
“We the citizens of India and Pakistan are concerned and dismayed by the decision of the government of India to call off the foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan that were scheduled on 25th August 2014 at Islamabad in the background of Pakistan High Commissioner Mr Abdul Basit’s meeting with a leader of Huriyat Conference,” a press statement issued by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (PILER) on Wednesday said.
It reads that it is important to note that after a very positive period of peace and increased cooperation between India and Pakistan between 2011 and 2012, the relations between the two countries have again become unstable since January 2013 with continued skirmishes on the borders. “It is reported that this year has seen over 50 ceasefire violations that is not in the interest of either country or for peace and cooperation in the entire region. The situation demands increased bilateral exchanges and continued adherence to the policy of uninterrupted and uninterruptable talks to resolve the long standing issues.”
The press statement said that in such a situation any disruption in taking forward the bilateral processes would be unfortunate and strengthens the hands of the hawks and hardliners and will be detrimental for the people of the sub continent and undermine the efforts to boost the economy and eliminate poverty from the region. “It must be noted that meetings between Huriyat leaders and the officials and visiting dignitaries from Pakistan has been a practice for long. Whenever Pakistani president, prime minister or foreign ministers visit India they meet Huriyat leaders. Even during Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime in 2001 when then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf came to India he had a meeting with the Huriyat leaders,” the statement said, adding, however, in the current instance, when the Indian government had requested the Pakistan High Commission to avoid meeting Huriyat leaders, Pakistan could have deferred the meetings in the interest of the larger peace process.
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