Kashmiri Hardliners 'Welcome' Pakistani Invite Ahead of NSA Talks

Published: 20th August 2015 03:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2015 03:32 AM   |  A+A-

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri separatist leaders, including moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, will meet Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister, ahead of his meeting with NSA Ajit Doval in New Delhi on Sunday.

“We’ve accepted the invitation of Pakistani High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit for a meeting with Aziz in New Delhi,” said Ayaz Akbar, spokesperson for the Hurriyat Conference faction led by Syed Ali Geelani.

The Pakistan High Commissioner has invited the top separatist leaders of the Valley, including hardliner Geelani for a meeting with Aziz ahead of his talks with Doval. Akbar said the Majlis Shoora (top decision-making body) of the separatist conglomerate met on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Geelani and welcomed Pakistan’s decision to  invite the separatists. Akbar said Geelani would travel to New Delhi for the meeting with Aziz, slated for August 24 morning. “He will apprise Aziz of the present situation in Jammu & Kashmir. He will impress on Aziz the need to raise the Kashmir issue forcefully through diplomatic channels.”

Geelani had boycotted the July 21 Eid Milan party thrown by Basit, in protest against Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s “failure” to take up the Kashmir issue with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during the talks at Ufa in Russia on July 10. A spokesperson for the Hurriyat’s moderate faction said a high-level delegation of the conglomerate led by Mirwaiz will hold a meeting with Aziz on Sunday.

“We welcome the NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan. In fact, we support all the efforts that are being made for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, which is a core issue between India and Pakistan,” Mirwaiz’s spokesperson said.

Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik will also be calling on Aziz on Sunday. Shah and Nayeem will leave for New Delhi on Saturday while Malik will leave on Sunday.

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