India to unmask Pakistan as top US diplomat visits

Last Updated 25 August 2015, 20:12 IST

India will share with United States how Pakistan over the past few weeks killed the spirit of the understanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his neighbouring-country counterpart Nawaz Sharif had reached at Ufa in Russia on July 10.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, is set to reach New Delhi on Wednesday. Government officials are likely to brief her about Pakistan Rangers' and Army's repeated ceasefire violations along the Line of Control as well as the undisputed stretch of the border. Officials told Deccan Herald New Delhi had recorded at least 91 incidents of ceasefire violations in the one and a half months since the Modi-Sharif meeting in Ufa.

Biswal is visiting New Delhi for discussions with Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Commerce and Industry officials and for preparations for the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, likely to be held in Washington DC next month.  They may also discuss the possibility of Modi meeting US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

India-Pakistan relations are also likely to figure in the discussions as Viswal is the first top US diplomat to visit New Delhi after a bitter war of words between the two neighbouring nations led to the cancellation of the parleys the National Security Advisers (NSAs), which were scheduled for Monday.

Biswal is likely to meet Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and the Joint Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Vinay Mohan Kwatra.

The US State Department expressed disappointment over the talks' cancellation, and urged both countries to “resume formal dialogue soon”.

New Delhi is likely to convey to Washington that while it is still committed to the Ufa understanding, any future engagement would be possible only if Pakistan agreed to adhere to the “red lines” drawn by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Swaraj had on Saturday said Pakistan should not insist on including the Kashmir issue in the agenda of any meeting with India before resumption of the structured dialogue, stalled since January 2013.

She had also made it clear that any Indo-Pak discussion on Kashmir and other outstanding issues should be held bilaterally without any third party, and within the framework of the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999.

(Published 25 August 2015, 20:12 IST)

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