New Delhi, Aug 19: The Pakistani High Commission has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders to meet Pakistan's tiol security adviser Sartaz Aziz before he meets his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, diplomats said on Wednesday. The separatists have accepted the invite.
Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani will meet Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, a Hurriyat leader said.
“We accepted the invite from the Pakistan high commission,” Ayaz Akbar, spokesperson for Geelani's Huriyat Conference, told IANS over telephone from Srigar.
"We have invited the separatist leaders in Kashmir for the reception for Sartaj Aziz," Aisha Ahsan, political counsellor at the Pakistan high commission, told IANS, referring to the adviser to Prime Minister waz Sharif on foreign affairs and tiol security.
Pakistan's invite to Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of the NSA talks was "designed to scuttle" the August 23-24 parley, and follows a typical pattern the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment has been following since the Ufa talks between Prime Minister rendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart waz Sharif to heighten tension, sources said on Wednesday.
The separatists will interact with Aziz before he meets his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
Both factions of the Hurriyat Conference headed by Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq respectively as well as other separatist leaders such as Yasin Malik and eem Khan have been invited to meet Basit on August 23.
“The Pakistan envoy wants us (Geelani and party leaders) to meet Sartaj Aziz before his talks with India," Akbar told IANS.
Aziz is scheduled to reach New Delhi for talks with Doval on August 23.
Mirwaiz Farooq's spokesperson Shahid-Ul-Islam confirmed the invite and said: "We have been invited for the reception of Sartaj Aziz on the day of the NSA talks. But we are yet to take a decision."
The Mirwaiz told TimesNow: "This (invitation) should not be perceived as a negative development. Let this be a beginning (to resolve issues)."
In September 2014, India called off the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan as Islamabad invited the separatist leaders for talks. IANS