Pakistan’s Envoy in India Met With Separatist Leaders From Jammu and Kashmir. India has cancelled talks with Pakistan after accusing it of interfering in India’s internal affairs.
It comes after Pakistan’s high commissioner in Delhi consulted Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of talks which were agreed in May.
Relations seemed to be on the mend when new Indian PM Narendra Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart to his swearing-in ceremony.
Pakistan described the Indian decision as a “setback”.
“It is a longstanding practice that, prior to Pakistan-India talks, meetings with Kashmiri leaders are held to facilitate meaningful discussions on the issue of Kashmir,” a statement from the Pakistani foreign ministry said.
Last week Mr Modi accused Pakistan of waging a proxy war against India in Kashmir.
The two countries’ foreign secretaries were to meet next week in Islamabad to discuss the resumption of formal dialogue.
But India reacted with fury when it became clear the Pakistani envoy was consulting with Kashmiri separatists.
India’s foreign ministry spokesman told the envoy “that Pakistan’s continued efforts to interfere in India’s internal affairs were unacceptable”.
He added that the action “raises questions about Pakistan’s sincerity and undermines the constructive diplomatic efforts” initiated by India.
India has long accused Pakistan of sponsoring militants in the disputed region – though despite a recent spike, overall the violence has declined since the early 2000s.
Relations plunged again over the deadly 2008 Mumbai attack.
Claimed by both countries in its entirety, Kashmir has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years. The South Asian rivals have fought two wars and a limited conflict over the region.