Pakistani high commissioner meets Hurriyat leader Geelani

Published March 9, 2015
Pakistan High Commisioner to India Abdul Basit addressing a press conference. -AFP/File
Pakistan High Commisioner to India Abdul Basit addressing a press conference. -AFP/File

NEW DELHI: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit met Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday, according to NDTV.

The 30-minute meeting at Mr. Geelani's Delhi residence comes after Indian Foreign Secretary M. Jaishankar’s recent visit to Pakistan, where he met premier Nawaz Sharif in addition to his Pakistani counterpart.

Mr. Jaishankar’s visit to Pakistan earlier this month was seen as a positive step in India’s policy towards Pakistan, after it had abandoned talks in August last year. Ironically, India had called off foreign secretary-level bilateral talks with Pakistan after a meeting between Mr. Basit and Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah.

At that time, Pakistan foreign office spokesman Tasneem Aslam had said, "Our High Commissioner in India has been informed by the Ministry of External Affairs that the Government of India — taking exception to the High Commissioner’s meetings with Kashmiri leaders — has decided to call off the foreign secretary level talks scheduled for August 25, 2014 in Islamabad."

In the meeting, Mr. Basit and Mr. Geelani discussed the recent foreign-secretary level talks between Pakistan and India in addition to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where separatist leader Masarat Alam was released from custody Saturday, causing uproar from several quarters.

Know more: Release of Kashmiri separatist leader creates hurdles for Modi

Kashmiri separatist Masarat Alam was released from the Baramulla jail on orders of chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, whose Peoples Democratic Party only recently formed a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir with Indian premier Modi’s BJP as its ally.

Talking about the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan, Mr. Geelani said, "I think, the objective of the meetings should be that some resolution must be sought on Kashmir. I reminded (Mr Basit) of the fact that the main issue is Kashmir and unless we come to a firm conclusion on this, circumstances won't improve."

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