Kashmir not a third party, it is integral to dialogue: Sharif

Pakistan Prime Minister says that any discussion with India, minus the Kashmir issue, would be futile.

Kashmir not a third party, it is integral to dialogue - SharifAsserting that Kashmiri separatist leaders are not a “third party”, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that any dialogue process with India which does not include the Kashmir issue will be futile.

“Kashmiri leaders are not a third party, but an important party to this issue. Any decision on their future cannot be made without their opinion and consultation,” he said at a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

The Prime Minister told the Cabinet that any dialogue with India without taking up the Kashmir issue would be futile, the Dawn reported.

Mr. Sharif’s comments came just days after Pakistan called off talks between the National Security Advisers of the two nations at the last minute after India asked it to give a commitment not to meet the Kashmiri separatist leaders. Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz briefed Mr. Sharif and his Cabinet colleagues about the cancellation of talks. The Cabinet discussed the security situation in the country.

Mr. Aziz was scheduled to travel to India on August 23 for talks with his counterpart, Ajit Doval, but he called off the visit.

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