India Cancels Talks With Pakistan Over Kashmir Dispute

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is breaking ties with Pakistan after the country agreed to talk with separatists in Kashmir.
Posted at 10:40 PM, Aug 18, 2014

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called off high level diplomatic talks with the country's neighbor Pakistan, a move that could seriously damage the already-fragile relationship between the two countries.

"Under the present circumstances, it is felt that no useful purpose will be served by the foreign secretary of India going to Islamabad next week." (Video via NDTV)

Meetings between India and Pakistan's foreign ministers were originally scheduled for Aug. 25 but were called off after Pakistan's high commissioner to India invited Kashmiri separatists over for consultations before the formal talks began. (Video via Zee News)

The contested Kashmir territory — currently split between India, Pakistan and China — has been a longtime source of tension. Separatists have met with Pakistani authorities prior to past India-Pakistan talks. And that angered the Indian government.

But by cancelling the meetings, the newly-elected Modi is going much further than previous Indian leaders.

The Hindustan Times reports Modi personally made the decision to break off ties with Pakistan if they continued their "interference in India’s internal matters." An anonymous government source told the outlet, "This is a new government. Modi likes to send out clear messages."

His latest message dashes hopes for warmer relations between India and Pakistan under Modi's government — hopes that were first raised when he invited Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration in May. (Video via CNN)

But Modi has previously portrayed himself as a hardliner on Pakistan, and he's recently faced pressure from within the government to get tough with Islamabad.

That's due to alleged violations of a cease-fire deal at the India-Pakistan border. The Indian government accuses Pakistan of breaking the cease-fire at least 54 times this year alone — one recent incident involved the two countries exchanging mortar shells and gunfire, though no fatalities were reported.

Both Pakistan and the Kashmiri separatists have condemned India's cancellation of the meeting as an unfortunate setback in the peace process between the two nations.

This video contains images from Getty Images