Pakistan's meeting with Hurriyat representatives not 'appropriate': India
NEW DELHI: India on Friday said that National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz — during his New Delhi visit to hold talks with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval — should not hold any meeting with All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) representatives, and termed any such a meeting as "not appropriate".
According to a report published on The Times of India, after the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had invited Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others, India had sent a message that such a meeting will go against the understanding that was reached between the two countries in Russia to work together against terrorism.
"India had advised Pakistan yesterday that it would not be appropriate for Sartaz Aziz to meet with Hurriyat representatives in India," spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said in a tweet.
He also tweeted that India has sought confirmation of the agenda which was proposed for the talks and conveyed to Pakistan on August 18.
Read: Aziz’s Delhi visit delicately poised
Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart are scheduled to meet in New Delhi for the first time on August 23 to discuss terrorism-related issues.
The meeting between the two countries' national security advisers was decided upon when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held a meeting in Russia last month.
Last year, the Indian government had called off foreign secretary talks, reason being that Pakistan had "consulted" with Kashmiri separatists before the talks.
Yesterday in a statement, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah clarified: "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".
The statement came after three Kashmiri separatist leaders were placed under house arrest but were later freed.
More on this: Kashmiri leaders' house arrest comes to an abrupt end: Indian media reports
The meeting between the two countries' security advisers signals the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan after a one year hiatus.
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Since the meeting between the two premiers in July, militant attacks and border skirmishes have poisoned the atmosphere between Islamabad and New Delhi.
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. The Kashmir issue is also on the agenda of the talks between the security advisers of the two countries.