Pakistan-India security talks scheduled for next month

Pakistan's national security advisor Sartaj Aziz to visit India for talks to restart dialogue between two countries

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Pakistan's foreign policy chief and national security advisor Sartaj Aziz will visit India for security talks with his counterpart Ajit Doval on August 23, to restrart dialogue between the South Asian rival neighbors.

Sartaj Aziz announced the planned visit on Thursday, following an agreement between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif for a new round of talks when they met in Russia last month on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have experienced renewed violence after this rapprochement effort, as a series of attacks and border skirmishes along the disputed Kashmir border. 

Aziz said with his visit to New Delhi next month he hopes "at least break the ice on some of a range of outstanding issues," Reuters reported.

"Our prime minister has always believed in dialogue as far as India is concerned. So I'll be going there this month," Aziz said during a news conference in Islamabad.

India cancelled talks with Pakistan on August 2014 after growing tension over the disputed Kashmir region between the two rival neighbors, which fought three wars since gaining Independence. 
India and Pakistan exchanged accusations over the attacks on border in recent weeks, which three Indian soldiers were killed. There has also been a war of words between two countries over a “spy drone" which Pakistan said it was used by India near the Line of Control (LoC). India has denied the claim.

Some experts believe the renewed violence has been instigated by hardline groups on both sides who rejects rapprochement. 

Media reports suggest that Pakistan's main issue will be India’s alleged support for militant groups in the province of Balochistan, and other tribal areas during the talks.  

India, on the other hand, is expected to bring the long standing dispute of Kashmir to the table after recent violence and tension in the Muslim majority region. India has long accused Pakistan of supporting armed groups in Indian-held Kashmir such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is accused of carrying out several deadly attacks against Indian forces.

Pakistan rejects the accusations, saying it only gives moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in the face of human rights abuses. 

Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in Indian-held Kashmir have been fighting against New Delhi rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan. More than 100,000 Kashmiri people have been killed under the occupation, with thousands of people being disappeared and jailed. 

TRTWorld and agencies