Pakistan invites separatists for meeting 'to irritate India': Indian analyst
SRINAGAR: Pakistan invited separatists from India-held Kashmir for a meeting in a move that risks further straining efforts to restart a peace dialogue ahead of a rare meeting between top security officials from the nuclear-armed nations.
India called off peace talks with Pakistan a year ago after its neighbour consulted the separatists before a meeting between their foreign secretaries.
Know more: India calls off foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan
At the time, India accused Pakistan of interfering in its domestic affairs.
Hardline Kashmiri separatist, Syed Ali Shah Geelani is among the leaders invited to the Pakistan High Commission on August 23, the day talks between the security officials are due to start, Ayaz Akbar, a spokesman for the separatists, said.
"This is deliberate attempt to irritate India," said S. Chandrasekharan, director of the South Asia Analysis Group in New Delhi.
Manzoor Ali Memon, a spokesman for the Pakistani embassy, confirmed the invitation and declined to comment further.
Pakistan shares agenda of talks with India
Pakistan after finalising its agenda for upcoming talks with India between national security advisers has shared the agenda documents with New Delhi.
Official sources confirmed that agenda documents have been shared with India and a response is awaited from New Delhi.
Sources said Pakistan has kept on the top of the agenda Indian unprovoked firing at LOC and working boundary which resulted into number of civilians killing in Pakistani side.
In addition to the Kashmir dispute, Siachen, Sir Creek and Indian involvement in terrorism related acts in Pakistan are also part of the agenda, the sourced said.
Pakistan is waiting for the Indian agenda of the talks which is yet to be shared by New Delhi, it added.
Also read: Pakistan says will not invite speaker of India-held Kashmirto commonwealth conference
Earlier Indian governments had grudgingly tolerated meetings between Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists, but Modi, elected last year, signalled he would not.
Majority-Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan, both claim Kashmir region in full but rule in part.
Modi has taken a tougher approach to Pakistan and clashes on the disputed border have intensified.
Indian and Pakistani troops traded gunfire and mortar rounds along their frontier earlier this week, killing eight people.
Read more: India summons Pakistan envoy over civilian deaths in Kashmir
Hopes for warmer ties rose last month when Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, met on the sidelines of a summit in Russia and agreed that their national security advisers would hold talks.
A spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs did not respond to requests for comment
(With additional input by Mateen Haider in Islamabad)