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Home > Uncategorised > India: In Delhi, Kashmiri separatists meet Pakistani envoy

India: In Delhi, Kashmiri separatists meet Pakistani envoy

Tuesday 19 August 2014, by siawi3

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/In-Delhi-Kashmiri-separatists-meet-Pakistani-envoy/articleshow/40425784.cms

TNN | Aug 19, 2014, 08.52 PM IST

We are not subservient to India, J&K a disputed territory, Pakistan says

NEW DELHI: In an open defiance of an Indian government directive, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India Abdul Basit continued to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders here on Tuesday.

Basit met with the chairman of the hardline faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik. Basit is also scheduled to meet Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chairman of the moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference later this evening.

Basit had earlier met another Kashmiri separatist leader Shabbir Ahmed on Monday.

This prompted India to cancel the foreign secretary-level talks between New Delhi and Islamabad which was to be held on August 25 in the Pakistani capital.

On Monday, ministry of external affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin termed the meeting between the Pakistani envoy and the separatists as “an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of India”. He said, “”It is felt that no useful purpose will be served by the Foreign Secretary of India Sujatha Singh going to Islamabad next week."

’Were earlier PMs wrong?’

Reacting to the developments on Tuesday, Yasin Malik claimed that past Indian prime ministers had “facilitated” meetings between Kashmiri separatists and visiting Pakistani leaders in India.

He said, “For the past 24 years all prime ministers — VP Singh, IK Gujral, Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Manmohan Singh — facilitated such meetings ... Even now, the person at the helm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said on record that he will follow in the footsteps of Vajpayee. When (then president Pervez) Musharraf came for the Agra Summit (2001), he held meetings with Kashmiri leaders.”

“Does it mean those prime ministers were wrong, that the previous seven were wrong when they facilitated such meetings; and Atal Bihari did this ... Does it mean that they were all wrong, and this is ’Mr Right’?”

US terms cancellation of talks ’unfortunate’

The United States has said it was “unfortunate” that the India-Pakistan foreign secretary-level talks have fallen through and urged both the countries to take steps to improve bilateral ties irrespective of what happened “irrespective of what happened”.

US state department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf, on Monday, said, “It is unfortunate that planned talks between India and Pakistan have fallen through.”

“We continue to support efforts by India and Pakistan to improve all aspects of their bilateral relations. And that is a position we will continue making clear to both parties here,” she said in response to a question.

Harf said, “Irrespective of why either side says the talks were canceled, or why, in fact, they were canceled, what matters now is that both sides take steps to improve their bilateral relations. We’ve been very clear about that directly in conversations with both.”

She asserted that the US policy on Kashmir has not changed.

“We continue to believe that the pace and the scope and character of any discussions on Kashmir are for India and Pakistan to determine between them. That hasn’t changed and that will remain our position going forward,” she said.

(With inputs from ANI, IANS and PTI)