Kashmiri leaders' house arrest comes to an abrupt end: Indian media reports
NEW DELHI: Three Kashmiri separatist leaders who were placed under house arrest earlier today (Thursday) have now been freed, indicating confusion on the issue, said a report published on NDTV.
The two-hour house arrests came days before a meeting scheduled in New Delhi with Pakistan's National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.
All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani along with separatists Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been invited for a meeting on Sunday at the Pakistan High Commission where Sartaj Aziz is scheduled to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
NDTV quoted Indian officials on Wednesday as saying that a "surprise" awaits Pakistan in the talks. However, this was not elaborated.
Pakistan expects India to allow APHC leaders to meet Sartaj Aziz: FO
Pakistan said today that it expects the Indian government to not prevent APHC leaders from meeting Sartaj Aziz during his visit to India from August 23 to August 24 2015.
"There is nothing unusual in such meetings and it has been normal practice for Pakistan to consult Hurriyat leaders prior to high level meeting with India," Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said at a news briefing in Islamabad.
The spokesman also said that all out standing issues including the Kashmir issue is on the agenda of the talks between the security advisers of the two countries.
Read: Aziz’s Delhi visit delicately poised
The meeting between the two countries' security advisers signals the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan after a one year hiatus.
Know more: Sartaj Aziz to visit India for talks on August 23
Aziz had said that his upcoming visit to New Delhi was “not a breakthrough in terms of composite dialogue and all the issues" but more of an ice breaking on some issues. He had further said that both sides should hope that the meeting will lead to "more comprehensive dialogue on the other issues between the two countries”.
The meeting was first agreed upon between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at their talks in Ufa (Russia) in July. The two premiers had agreed that a meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) will be convened to “discuss all issues connected to terrorism”.
Since the July meeting however, militant attacks and border skirmishes have poisoned the atmosphere between Islamabad and New Delhi.
The NSAs meeting was proposed with the objective of discussing the terrorist threat faced by India and Pakistan within their respective borders.
The invitation for dialogue came from New Delhi and in the shadow of the July 27 militant attack in Gurdaspur, which some Indian leaders have blamed on Pakistan.
India is also planning to raise the issue of the trial of the alleged plotters of the Mumbai attacks by a Pakistani court and the bail for Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the principal accused in the case.
Pakistan would, meanwhile, want to flag its concerns about alleged Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Karachi, Balochistan and the country's tribal areas.
Take a look: RAW instigating terrorism, says army
India has long been accused of fuelling insurgency in Balochistan and unrest in Karachi. India's premier intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has also been accused of patronising militant groups that have been fighting the Pakistan Army in the country's tribal areas.