22:50 GMT15 June 2021
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    New Delhi will cancel the planned security talks with Islamabad if Pakistani National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz meets with Kashmiri separatist leaders, the Indian foreign minister said Saturday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – Pakistani High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit has invited the separatist leaders from the disputed Kashmir region to meet with Aziz in New Delhi ahead of his meeting with his Indian counterpart scheduled on Sunday and Monday. India has condemned the invitation.

    "Pakistan should not meet Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of the talks. If Pakistan imposes conditions then the talks will not take place. Pakistani has time till tonight to decide," Sushma Swaraj told reporters.

    The Jammu and Kashmir region has been disputed by India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Following a number of military conflicts, the countries agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. However, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce.

    The meeting between Indian and Pakistani national security advisers is part of the peace efforts announced by the leaders of the two countries at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the Russian city of Ufa in July.

    According to the Indian foreign minister, the Kasmir issue is not on the agenda of the upcoming security talks.

    "It was clearly agreed in Ufa that the first round of talks will be between National Security Advisor of India and Pakistan on the issue of terrorism… We will talk on all outstanding issues including Kashmir when terrorism is stopped," she said.

    Sources in both the Indian Home Ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir state government told Sputnik Friday they intended to keep the separatist leaders from traveling to New Delhi to visit Aziz at the Pakistani Embassy.


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    separatism, territorial dispute, Kashmir, Pakistan, India
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