In yet another saga between India and Pakistan, the Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan has made it clear that his country will discuss only the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan in bilateral peace talks.

During his lecture at the Islamabad-based think tank, Center for Research & Security Studies he has claimed that Pakistan-controlled Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is part of India- according to article 370 of their constitution. This makes clear what India wants to discuss with us- yet another ploy to make sure they point out that the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan is under an illegal occupation.

Pakistan and India agreed to resume a comprehensive dialogue process on all issues including Kashmir last week and the foreign secretaries of the two countries will formally meet next month to prioritise the agenda for the future talks. However, given this aggressive stand already taken by India, is there really any point?

Pakistani officials have vehemently protested against what this particular Indian High Commissioner has said. Pakistan stands for the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris, with the Indian military oppressing the voice of independence in the parts of Kashmir it controls. Why would the Commissioner make such a comment right now, given that there was an effort to resume the bilateral talks between the two estranged neighbors? India’s insistence on limiting the talks to a one-point agenda proved that it will be unwilling to compromise in negotiations.

The political tension between India and Pakistan is often reflected and amplified in the media – where they have even clashed at the United Nations, over the issue of Kashmir. For the Pakistani delegate, Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan stands ready to engage in a dialogue with India on all outstanding issues, stating that the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains the root cause of tensions and instability in the region. India however remains adamant over only blaming us, and it seems that international support is one sided as well.

The PM’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, has made it clear that Kashmir must be on the agenda of any bilateral engagement with them. The talks are essentially taking place on the principle of equality. He will now get the former, but not the latter.

We deserve nothing less than full cooperation from India, and so do the Kashmiri people. This is another token gesture, to create an image of cooperation when none is being extended.