ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Peace talks between India and Pakistan collapsed on Saturday, hours before they were scheduled to start, with Pakistan saying the talks will not serve any purpose.
The neighbors had for weeks blamed each other for putting at risk the much-awaited meeting of their national security advisers (NSA) and failed to arrive at a common agenda.
Pakistan’s decision came after India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said the talks will not take place if Pakistan’s adviser Sartaj Aziz insisted on meeting separatists from Kashmir.
“We have come to the conclusion that the proposed NSA level talks between the two countries would not serve any purpose,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said late on Saturday.
India had said it was ready to discuss only terrorism-related issues at the talks and nothing else.
“It is not reasonable for India to now assume the right to decide unilaterally that from now onwards, other issues will be discussed after terrorism has been discussed and eliminated,” the statement from Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.
Reporting by Kay Johnson, Writing by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Dominic Evans