- Hurriyat leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani invited to HC reception in New Delhi
- Former Indian minister Yashwant Sinha says talks between two NSAs will be ‘dialogue of the deaf’ and will have no outcome
With Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz set to meet his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in New Delhi on Sunday, the talks between the security advisors of India and Pakistan will take place despite Pakistan High Commission (HC)’s invitation to Kashmiri freedom leaders for a meeting during Aziz’s stay there.
Last year in August, India called off talks between foreign secretaries of both countries following a meeting between the Pakistan high commissioner and Hurriyat leaders.
This time around, the talks are on, however Indian media outlets have claimed that during the NSA-level talks, India will stand tall on its stance against the proposed meeting with Hurriyat leaders.
According to the Kashmir Media Service (KMS), Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner in Delhi Mansoor Ahmed Khan communicated to Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik by telephone that Aziz intended to interact with them on various issues.
KMS and The Hindu report that Hurriyat leaders will also participate in a reception being arranged by the HC for Aziz.
Spokesman of the Geelani-led faction Ayaz Akbar said, “Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani was invited for the talks with Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz. A decision on whether to accept the invitation will be taken at a meeting of the Hurriyat Conference.”
Akbar said the stand taken by Pakistan was welcome as “they have asserted that there will be no dialogue with India without inclusion of Kashmir issue”.
In the meanwhile, a spokesman of the Mirwaiz-led faction said, “We are meeting today to take a decision on the issue.”
However, sources in the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat said the meeting was a formality as “we believe in dialogue as a solution for the Kashmir issue”. “We have met Pakistan officials in the past and nothing has changed in recent times to force a rethink,” the sources said.
TALKS ARE ON:
Doval is scheduled to meet Aziz for talks on terrorism-related issues for the first time on August 23 in New Delhi, as decided in a meeting between prime ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif last month in Ufa, Russia.
Both Pakistan and India are expected to present evidences about each country’s intervention in other’s internal matters. Pakistan would give hard proofs of Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)’s support to separatists in Balochistan and acts of terrorism in Karachi and FATA.
India is expected to present its view point regarding attacks in Gurdaspur in Punjab and near Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Tuesday, finalising a strategy for the upcoming NSA interaction, the top civil and military leadership agreed to adopt an aggressive stance on terrorism related issues but a give-and-take approach on bilateral disputes.
It was proposed that Aziz should take up the issue of the release of Samjhota Express incident’s mastermind, India’s involvement in Balochistan and Afghanistan and its violation of ceasefire at the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.
The civil-military also agreed that the outcome of the NSA’s meeting should not be ambiguous or one-sided but rather they should send a clear message to all stakeholders.
However, former Indian union minister Yashwant Sinha claimed the talks between the two advisers will be a ”dialogue of the deaf” and there will be no outcome.
Sinha said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had deviated from its stated policy pertaining to talks with Pakistan. ”This has been a clearly stated policy of BJP that terror and talks do not go together,” he said, according to India Today.
“You say you (Pakistan) are promoting terrorism against India, they will say you are promoting terrorism against Pakistan. You will say you committed 26/11 and then they will point to Samjhota Express blast. For every dossier, they will have a counter dossier,” he said.
“This is deliberate attempt to irritate India,” said South Asia Analysis Group New Delhi Director S Chandrasekharan while commenting on reports that Pakistan had invited pro-freedom leaders from Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) for a meeting in New Delhi.