New Delhi: India on Thursday said the ball was in Pakistan’s court on holding Foreign Secretary-level talks as it was for Islamabad to decide on readiness to discuss issues of ‘cross-border terrorism’, vacation of ‘illegal occupation’ of parts of Jammu and Kashmir and closing down ‘terror camps’.
In a response to his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s offer for talks on Kashmir, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said discussions should focus on cessation of ‘terrorist activities’ in J&K and ending incitement to violence and ‘terror’ in the Valley.
Briefing reporters, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Jaishankar conveyed that he accepts his counterpart’s invitation to visit Islamabad but made it clear the discussions should focus first on the pressing aspects of the J&K situation flagged by him.
“In a letter dated August 16, Foreign Secretary has first of all underlined that Pakistan’s self-serving allegations made in their communication are rejected in their entirety by the Government of India. Pakistan has no locus standi in respect of J&K, which is an integral part of our nation,” said Swarup.
Deliberations should also focus on denying safe haven, shelters and support to ‘terrorists’ in Pakistan who have escaped Indian law, Jaishankar said in his letter.
“The ball is in Pakistan’s court now. They had made an offer, we have responded to the offer. It is up to them to carry it forward,” said Swarup.