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Pakistan invites pro-freedom Kashmiri leaders for talks; Congress hits at BJP

August 18, 2014 | By

New Delhi, India (August 18, 2014): Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s invite to pro-freedom Kashmiri leaders for talks ahead of the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level meeting on August 25. Pak move has triggered a political debate in India concerning the purpose of upcoming mutual high-level talks between India and Pakistan.

According to media reports Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq along with chairman of the another faction Syed Ali Shah Geelani and senior pro-freedom leader Shabir Ahmad Shah, who floated the third faction of the amalgam last year, had been invited for consultations by the Pakistan High Commissioner.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has not been invited. “We have not received any communication from the Pakistan High Commission,” a spokesman of the JKLF said in Srinagar.

Taking Pak invitation as a chance to hit at the NDA government the Congress party has questioned as to why India was going ahead with talks when the Pakistan envoy was holding a parallel meeting with separatists.

On the other hand BJP leader and NDA minister Najma A Heptulla said the High Commissioner’s action could hamper the ‘good’ atmosphere built for the dialogue process.

“You have the Pakistan High Commissioner calling separatist leaders for talks. Where has the diplomacy gone? Is this government going to endorse the behaviour of Pakistan?” Congress leader Manish Tewari said while addressing the media in New Delhi.

He said the government should explain the nature of the likely meeting between Basit and the Kashmiri “separatists”.

In Srinagar, while responding to a query whether Basit’s invitation to the separatists would hamper the atmosphere built for talks, Heptulla said: “Yes, certainly…the atmosphere is getting good from our side and now we have to see how good their intentions are.”

“If their (Pakistan’s) intention is good, it surely will break the ice. The intention of our leader (Modi) is good…otherwise he would not have invited (Pakistan Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharief in his oath ceremony. There has been a forward movement from our side but it takes two to tango,” she said.

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