After going through several now-on, now-off moments, the NSA talks between India and Pakistan were finally called off on Saturday, with both sides sticking to their positions.

In a late night statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office said it has “come to the conclusion that the NSA talks would not serve any purpose if conducted on the basis of the two conditions” laid down by India a clear signal calling off the talks.

In this scenario, India is not ready to talk about Kashmir issue, and Pakistan calls it their life line. Kashmir is very important for Pakistan and the Pakistani case is very strong in this matter. According to reports, in 1947-8, India and Pakistan fought their first war over Jammu and Kashmir. Under United Nations’ supervision, they agreed to a ceasefire along a line which left one-third of the state – comprising what Pakistan calls Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and the Northern Areas – under Pakistani administration and two-thirds, Jammu, Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley, under Indian administration. In 1972, under the terms of the Simla agreement, the ceasefire line was renamed the Line of Control.

Although India claims that the entire state is part of India, it has been prepared to accept the Line of Control as the international border, with some possible modifications. Both the US and the UK have also favored turning the Line of Control into an internationally-recognized frontier.

But Pakistan has consistently refused to accept the Line of Control as the border since the predominantly Muslim Kashmir Valley would remain as part of India. Formalizing the status quo also does not take account of the aspirations of those Kashmiris who have been fighting since 1989 for independence for the whole or part of the state.

Now, in all of Kashmir, the people are raising Pakistan’s flag. This movement of kashmiries gains a new direction but India fears where this is heading. The Indian government wants to silence their voice. The Hurriyat leaders are real representatives of Kashmiri people.

AZHAR THIRAJ,

Lahore, August 23.