NEW DELHI: The separatist leadership in Jammu and Kashmir Sunday regretted the cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan, saying that the two countries can't run away from the dispute over Kashmir.

Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani said the "drama" over NSA-level talks shows that India is "running away from international obligations" by objecting to the meeting of the Hurriyat leaders with Pakistan's National Security Advisor, Sartaj Aziz.

"By objecting to the Hurriyat's meeting (with Aziz), India has shown that it is a hegemonic state, not a democracy. The two countries must resolve Kashmir according to its historical background and international commitments made by India, including the UN resolutions," Geelani told The Citizen.

Welcoming the Pakistan's stand on the Hurriyat and Kashmir, Geelani said India is living in denial by terming the Hurriyat as "third party" to the talks between the two countries. "India should understand that Kashmir is her only dispute with Pakistan. By denying the facts and showing arrogance, India is running away from her international commitments," he said.

Pakistan called off the talks on Saturday evening after India made it clear that the scheduled meeting of the NSA Aziz with the Hurriyat leaders will not be allowed. Two Hurriyat leaders, including Shabir Ahmad Shah, were detained on their arrival in New Delhi to foil their meeting with Aziz.

Moderate Hurriyat chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the happenings over the last few days as "unfortunate" and said that India is showing "rigidity" by putting condition before Pakistan ahead of the talks.

“The relations between the two countries will not improve unless Kashmir issue is resolved according to the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. By being rigid and putting preconditions for talks, India has shown that it is not serious about resolving Kashmir dispute with Pakistan, Mirwaiz said.

Recalling the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s “Insaniyat Kay Dairay Main (within the ambit of humanity) phrase, Mirwaiz said the new BJP government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi must pick up threads from that era to move forward on resolving Kashmir issue.

"It is tragic that while the tensions are mounting between the two countries at the borders where innocent people are dying, the two countries have chosen the path of confrontation over reconciliation,” Mirwaiz said.

Reacting to the remarks of foreign affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, that India will not like to see Pakistan involving the third party (Hurriyat) in the talks, JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik said the people of Kashmir are not the third party but "principal" stakeholders in the dispute.

"Referring to Kashmiris as the third party is far from reality and absurd. According to Shimla pact that no third party should be involved in India-Pakistan talks speaks about other nations like US, UK etc. By applying this to Kashmiris, Sushma Swaraj is actually proving herself as ignorant. Kashmiris are the principal stakeholders in the dispute," Malik said.