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Hard Ball Game: Pak cancels NSA level talks with India

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Her take on Aziz-Hurriyat talks also was unnuanced. The Simla agreement signed at the end of 1971 war has acknowledged Kashmir as a bilateral dispute which has no role for third party intervention. So her advice to Aziz: "Keeping in mind the spirit of the Simla Agreement, don't make Hurriyat a third party to the talks". In any case, the Aziz-Doval talks are going to herald a fresh resumption of the dialogue process and so what is the hurry to discuss all the issues that have been bedeviling India-Pak relations in the Aug 23-24 round itself.

It is difficult to disagree with Michael Kugelman's assertion that by convening a meeting with the Hurriyat leaders before Sartaj Aziz met Ajit Doval "Pakistan was daring India to cancel the talks, which would actually be helpful to the Pakistanis". The turn of events show Pakistanis may have underestimated the Indians' willingness "to play hardball and stare down Pakistan".

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Rama Rao Malladi is New Delhi based senior journalist and distinguished commentator on South Asian and Central Asian issues. He is a regular contributor to several publications in and outside India. His articles are featured in News Blaze.Rama (more...)

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