Delhi agrees Hurriyat leaders talks with Pakistan

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Mirwaiz welcomes move

Srinagar—There is no bar on the meetings of Kashmiri separatist leaders with representatives of any country in India, a media report quoted Ministry of External Affairs as saying.
“Since the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India and these so-called Kashmiri ‘leaders’ are Indian citizens, there is no bar on their meetings with representatives of any country in India,” Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh said in a written reply to the parliament.
However, Singh was quick to add that there could not be any role for third party in the India-Pakistan dialogue process.
“India has consistently maintained that there is no role for a third party in the bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan as per the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. India’s displeasure at Pakistan’s attempts to interfere in India’s internal affairs has been repeatedly conveyed to Pakistan,” he added.
In August 2014, New Delhi cancelled talks between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan, following a meeting between the Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit and Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah.
Mirwaiz welcomes: Hurriyat conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday welcomed New Delhi for allowing separatists to talk with Pakistan. “This is a welcome step,” Mirwaiz told reporters at his residence. He said “Better late than never”. He hoped that New Delhi would not draw any red lines and the present regime at New Delhi will follow the “Vajpayee path”.
“We have always supported dialogue because this is the only way through which Kashmir issue can be settled,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz was referring to Minister of State External Affairs V.K. Singh’s written reply in the Parliament on the issue.
In a reply in parliament, Singh said, “Since the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India and these so-called Kashmiri ‘leaders’ are Indian citizens, there is no bar on their meetings with representatives of any country in India.—GK/RK

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