India cancels Pakistan talks over Kashmir meeting
Pakistan criticizes India reaction to meeting with Kashmiri leaders who want independence from India

Pakistan said India's decision on Monday to cancel high-level talks are a "setback" in attempts to normalize longstanding strained relations between the two rival neighbours.

The talks between both countries' foreign secretaries were cancelled after Pakistan's High Commissioner to India held meetings with pro-Independence political leaders from the Indian-held section of the disputed Kashmir region.

"The Indian decision is a setback to the efforts by our leadership to promote good neighbourly relations with India,” said Aslam.

She added that such meetings with Kashmiri leaders were routine ahead of Pakistan-India talks, a claim supported by Shabbir Shah, a senior figure in the pro-independence Hurriyat party. Other Kashmiri leaders will meet with the Pakistani High Commissioner on Tuesday.

"We were invited when Sartaj Aziz came to India, when Hinna Rabbani came to India and it has always been so," Shah told the AA before the meeting.

"The Indian foreign secretary had conveyed to the Pakistan high commissioner in clear and unambiguous terms, that Pakistan's continued efforts to interfere in India's internal affairs were unacceptable," said foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin, who claimed the meetings "undermine" moves taken towards improving relations between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir is divided between both India and Pakistan and has been a point of contention since the two independent states were formed in the aftermath of British decolonization in 1947. They have fought two full-fledged wars in the region in 1948 and in 1965.

Last Modified: 2014-08-19 09:31:00
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