New Delhi: Accusing Pakistan of causing derailment of bilateral talks with India by “forcefully” raking up the Kashmir issue, Congress leader Anand Sharma Tuesday also asked the government whether any understanding had been reached with the neighbouring country before agreeing to hold the foreign secretary-level meeting.
“As the preparations were being made for a dialogue with foreign secretaries, Pakistan forcefully put Kashmir on the top of the agenda,” the former commerce minister told the media here.
It was not clearly known whether the government had any understanding with Pakistan at all before initiating the bilateral process, he added.
“The attitude of Pakistan when it comes to bringing to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attack has not been encouraging. We want to know what assurances Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had given before the talks and whether those assurances were violated? What kind of understanding was reached,” he asked.
Sharma said the meeting between the separatists and Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi was uncalled for as the former were not the elected representatives of the people of Kashmir.
“Hurriyat leaders are not elected representatives of Kashmir. They do not have the mandate to engage in any manner in these conversations,” he maintained.
The foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan, scheduled Aug 25, were called off Monday after the Pakistani envoy held talks with separatist leader Shabir Shah.