Sartaj to meet Kashmiri leaders in New Delhi

Islamabad - According to sources, invitations for meeting with Sartaj Aziz were sent to key Hurriyat leaders, including chairperson Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Fri 21 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 21 Aug 2015, 11:35 AM

Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah confirmed on Thursday that Sartaj Aziz will meet All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders from Indian-administered Kashmir in New Delhi, hours after reports of Kashmiri leaders being placed under house arrest and then released later.
"National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz will meet the Hurriyat conference leaders in New Delhi as consultations with them are a routine matter," Khalilullah said hoping India would facilitate this meeting.
"Pakistan and India are in the process of finalising agenda for the national security adviser talks in New Delhi on August 23," he said when asked about reports that an open-ended agenda will be pursued.
The statement came after Hurriyat leaders were placed under house arrest on Thursday but an Indian government official confirmed that the government would not call off next week's talks with National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz despite the meeting. India last year cancelled foreign secretary-level meeting after Pakistani High Commissioner's invitation for meeting with the same leaders.
According to sources, invitations for meeting with Sartaj Aziz were sent to key Hurriyat leaders, including chairperson Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for a reception hosted by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
Although, in the past New Delhi had allowed Pakistani officials visiting India to meet the Hurriyat leaders, the Bharatiya Janata Party government has taken a hardline stance on it. In August last year, New Delhi had cancelled scheduled foreign secretary level talks in protest after Pakistan's high commissioner held 'consultations' with Kashmiri leaders.
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