India ready to talk Kashmir within ‘bilateral’ framework

NEW DELHI – India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin has said that India is willing to discuss the issue of Jammu Kashmir with Pakistan within the framework of bilateral agreements of Simla and the Lahore Declaration.

He was reacting to Pakistan’s remarks that the Pakistan-India dialogue without discussions on Kashmir was unacceptable. "As regards engagement with Pakistan, we have made it very clear that we will engage in the framework of Simla agreement and Lahore Declaration and both these provide for discussing all outstanding issues including Jammu Kashmir,” he said.

“Our view is very clear, a bilateral framework to discuss all outstanding issues including the issue of Jammu Kashmir," the Indian official said. He was asked about the comments by National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, who has said that Islamabad offered talks to New Delhi in good faith, but holding a dialogue without addressing the Kashmir issue was unacceptable to Pakistan.

India had called off the talks between foreign secretaries slated for August 25, telling Pakistan bluntly to choose between an Indo-Pakistan dialogue or hobnobbing with the Kashmiri leaders. India also objected to Pakistan terming the Kashmiri leaders as stakeholders in the resolution of the core issue, saying that as per the Simla Agreement it was a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India and any other approach will not yield results.



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