JAMMU: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday said that Pakistan should not talk to Hurriyat leaders if it wanted to end terrorism, adding that the NSA-level talks between New Delhi and Islamabad should go ahead as scheduled.
“When Prime Minister Modi and Nawaz Sharif met in Russia and decided to on the NSA-level talks, there was no mention that Hurriyat or any third party would be part of the talks. It is surprising that Pakistan wants to show that Hurriyat is the sole representative of the Jammu and Kashmir, and Laddak…These talks are between the governments of India and Pakistan, both nations are affected by terrorism,” Abdullah told ANI.
“Nobody is gaining from this, poor people on both the sides are dying…India is willing to help them in dealing with terrorism, the entire world is willing to help. They have to decide whether they want to end terrorism or let it continue. If they want to end it (terrorism) then they should not talk to the Hurriyat,” he added.
Abdullah further said that Pakistan has always been encouraging the Hurriyat.
“Pakistan always tries to encourage them (Hurriyat), Pakistan is their mother and father. Pakistan pays them, unfortunately India has also paid them. They are taking money from both sides…Any intelligent Indian would want that talks should go on,” he said.
Pakistan's High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, had extended an invitation to the Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other Hurriyat leaders to meet with Sharif’s adviser on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz on August 23.
India has cautioned Pakistan not to go ahead with Sunday’s meeting.
Last year, India had cancelled the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan after Basit met Kashmiri separatists ahead of the planned meet.