Several Kashmiri separatist leaders have declared that their talks with the Paksitani High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi will continue despite India cancelling the Foreign Secretary level talks scheduled for later this month.
“However, we will continue the process of consultations which are part of the dialogue process for resolution of Kashmir’ issue, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will go to meet Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi tomorrow,” declared a spokesman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference yesterday. Hurriayt Conference hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani will also visit the Pak High Commissioner. “Yes, we will be going for the meeting,” said Geelani’s spokesman Ayaz Akbar.
JKLF chiarman Yasin Malik, who is already in Delhi for other engagements, will also hold attend a similar meeting. “Malik might attend the meeting as he is already scheduled to be in Delhi tomorrow,” said a spokesman. Shabir Ahmad Shah has already met the High Commissioner yesterday.
India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin has observed that “no useful purpose will be served” with the scheduled visit by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh under the changing circumstances. He has also said that these discussions called by Pak High Commissioner with the “so-called leaders of the Hurriyat does indeed raise questions about Pakistan’s sincerity, and shows that its negative approaches and attempts to interfere in India’s internal affairs continue unabated”.
J & K’s opposition PDP has said that the decision to call off the talks was “a negative development”. Pak took a less serious note and feigning ignorance, has said that the practice of conducting discussions with separatist leaders has been a “long standing practice”.