Pak envoy to meet Hurriyat leader on Sunday

Pak envoy to meet Hurriyat leader on Sunday

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit will meet moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in Delhi on Sunday and is expected to discuss ongoing efforts to bring back on track the stalled Indo-Pak dialogue process.

The meeting comes nearly a fortnight after Basit had gone to the Delhi residence of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and updated him about the talks between Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in Islamabad earlier this month.

“Yes, I will be meeting the Pakistani High Commissioner on Sunday. We are very happy that the two countries have come back to the dialogue table,” the Mirwaiz told PTI here.

He said Hurriyat Conference always wanted that the two countries should be talking and resolving all outstanding issues including Kashmir.

“We in Hurriyat believe that we can act as a bridge between the two countries in finding a lasting solution to the vexed Kashmir issue,” he said.

The Mirwaiz faction of the Hurriyat has advocated negotiations between the two countries and has held talks with the previous NDA regime led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and UPA government of Manmohan Singh.

The separatists leaders have also been invited for Pakistan Day function in Delhi on March 23.

The Narendra Modi government had cancelled Foreign Secretary-level talks in August last year after Basit had met Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of meeting, ignoring calls by the Indian government not to go ahead with it.

However, after the BJP entered into an alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, it was agreed that every stakeholder “irrespective of their ideological views and predilections” will be taken on board.

The alliance for agenda of the PDP-BJP said “coalition Government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, which will include all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections. This dialogue will seek to build a broad-based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of Jammu and Kashmir”.