13:02 GMT30 October 2020
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    Pakistan’s newly appointed National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf claimed India was keen for the resumption of stalled talks on contentious issues between the two nations. In an interview with an Indian media outlet last week, Yusuf also laid out five pre-conditions for talks, which included the inclusion of Kashmiris as a third participant.

    India has declined to show any interest in initiating talks with Pakistan while clarifying that it feels “the atmosphere is not conducive” for that.

    India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday, “No such message was sent from our side.”

    “The statements made by him (Pakistan National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf) are contrary to facts on the ground, misleading and fictitious,” he added.

    The spokesperson added it was another attempt by Pakistan to “divert attention from failures of the present government and mislead its domestic constituents by pulling India into headlines on a daily basis.”

    Explaining New Delhi’s position, Srivastava said, Pakistan continues to “support, aid and abet cross-border terrorism” and its leadership continues to indulge in “inappropriate, provocative and hate speech” against India.

    “Such support to terrorism against India and use of derogatory and abusive language are not conducive to normal neighbourly relations,” said Srivastava during his weekly press conference held in New Delhi on Thursday.

    Islamabad suspended diplomatic relations, trade and communications with New Delhi after India abrogated the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 in August 2019. With this step, India integrated the region into the country’s administrative and political mainstream, a move decried by Pakistan.

    The last political contact between India and Pakistan was in May 2014, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif held talks in New Delhi. Sharif had been invited to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony as prime minister of India.

    In 2015, Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan’s Lahore city on his way back from Afghanistan on Sharif’s birthday and the wedding of his granddaughter.

    Relations between India and Pakistan have been topsy-turvy ever since both countries gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947, and Kashmir has always been central to their disputes.

    While both countries claim the entire Jammu and Kashmir as part of their territory, they each rule it in parts. India and Pakistan have also waged two full-fledged wars over Kashmir.

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    Nawaz Sharif, Narendra Modi, bilateral talks, Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad, Pakistan, New Delhi, India
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