Ahead of the foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan from the 25th August, the Pakistani High Commission at New Delhi has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders for talks. The invitation has started a new debate as to why the Indian government is not responding to this move by the Pakistani government.
Congress leader Manish Tewari has slammed the government for its silence: “Pakistan’s High Commissioner in India is feting separatists, Pakistani Army is intruding into Indian territory, the ISI and its instrumentals are attacking our consulate in Herat and this government is deafening in its silence. This is the same government when it was in the opposition, whose face used to turn red and blue whenever there was any provocation from Pakistan. So, why have they gone silent all of a sudden?”
“And given the fact that Pakistan has ostensibly even eliminated Hafiz Sayeed’s name from the 26/11 charge sheet, where is the rationale for going ahead with the proposed talks on August 25 this year, given the background over the past two months. Is the government under some international pressure with regard to Pakistan, and if it is under pressure, then they should come out and very clearly tell the nation as to why there has been a change of stance and a 180 degree U-turn on the government policy towards Pakistan,” Tewari added.
Shabir Ahmad Shah, separatist leader, who is set to visit the High Commission, has said that the dialogue should be trilateral and has questioned the alarmist attitude of India’s opposition.
Another separatist leader Yasin Malik has also defended the meet and said that “There is no rationale behind opposing the meet with Abdul Basit. Both nations need to solve the Kashmir issue bilaterally,” said the JKLF leader.
Shahi Imam of Fatehpur Masjid of Old Delhi, Maulana Mufti Mukarram has also defended the talks and said that dialogue of any nature would yield good results and hoped that there would be no hindrance to the talks.