NEW DELHI – Breaking his silence on the cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India was ‘disappointed’ as Pakistan wanted to make a ‘spectacle’ by meeting Kashmiri leaders.
The Indian prime minister laid so-called ‘ground rules’ for future talks, asserting that any ‘meaningful bilateral’ dialogue necessarily requires an environment that is free from terrorism and violence. He also said that efforts would continue to build peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations with Pakistan.
In an interaction with the Japanese media, he said that India desires peaceful, friendly and cooperative ties with Pakistan. India has no hesitation to discuss any outstanding issue with Pakistan within the ‘bilateral’ framework that has been established under the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration, he said.
“We were disappointed that Pakistan sought to make a spectacle of these efforts and went ahead with talks with ‘secessionist elements’ from (Indian-held) Jammu Kashmir in New Delhi just prior to the meeting of the secretaries,” Modi said. He recalled that he had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in May, 2014, when he attended the swearing-in ceremony of his government here.
“We together decided that the foreign secretaries should meet and explore how to take relations forward,” the Indian prime minister told a questioner.