Kashmiri separatist leaders confirm they’ve been invited by Pakistan High Commission, BJP’s partner PDP welcomes the move

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Majid Jahangir, Srinagar

Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders to Delhi ahead of the NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan, scheduled in New Delhi on 23 August.

Most of the separatist leaders including Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Gilani and Shabir Ahmad Shah have confirmed about receiving invitations for meeting by the Pakistani High Commission in Delhi.

JKLF chairman Yasin Malik told jantakareporter.com that he had indeed received invitation on Tuesday by the Pakistan High Commission for meeting in Delhi on 23 August. He said, ” I am meeting today with my part. I can not tell it right now.”

Shabir Ahmad Shah also confirmed that he was invited by the Pakistani High Commission.

He said:” Yes, I’ve got the invitation. Why should I not go there? I am going on Saturday.” Shah, however, did not  comment on questions regarding his agenda during his visit to Delhi. All he said was that he ” will talk in Delhi on Saturday.”

While confirming Hurriyat Conference(G) spokesman, Ayaz Akbar told jantakareporter.com that Pakistan High Commission had invited “us for meeting on the day when NSA-level talks are being held in New Delhi on August 23.”

He said, ” The Pakistan High Commission yesterday invited us for meeting in Delhi. We see this development very bold. By inviting Kashmiri separatist leaders, Pakistan has once again exhibited courage and sent a clear message that Kashmir is an issue. Since the BJP government took reigns they wanted to put Kashmir issue on back burner. As was the case last time, when Indian government cancelled foreign secretary-level talks following  Pakistan High Commission’ s meeting with separatists leaders of Kashmir. Kashmir is an issue and it has to be addressed.”

Terrorism is likely to dominate the agenda of talks when Sartaj Aziz meets his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in Delhi.

Ruling party PDP’s chief spokesman, Dr Mehboob Beg expressed happiness over the Pakistan High Commission’s invitation to separatist leaders.

Speaking to jantakareporter.com he said.”This is a healthy development that NSA-level talks are being held between India and Pakistan despite hostilities on the border. No hue and cry should be raised .Congress is unnecessarily making issue out of it.What happened last year following the consultations of separatist leaders should be forgotten. BJP leadership is determined to carry forward Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision as far as relation with Pakistan and Kashmir issue is concerned. Such talks will open the doors for prosperity for the both countries. ”

Hurriyat conference(M) chairman Mirwaiz Molvi Omar Farooq has also received invitation as quoted by the newspapers .He could not be contacted for comment on Pakistan High Commission’s invitation.

Narendra Modi government had cancelled the foreign secretary level talks in August last year after the Pakistan High Commission held consultations with Kashmiri separatist leaders. It remains to be seen how the same government will react now after being placed in a similar situation by the Pakistan High Commission.

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