By NewsGram Staff Writer
Even before the NSA talks could take place, a lot has already happened. After Pakistan invited the leaders of Hurriyat to Delhi, the latter were put under house arrest and released within a few hours. The recent news has it that India on Friday said it had advised Pakistan that it would “not be appropriate” for its NSA, Sartaj Aziz, to meet the Hurriyat leaders ahead of the talks with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval.
“Such a meeting would not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Ufa understanding to jointly work to combat terrorism,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir said that the Pakistan envoy in Delhi invited them for talks with Sartaj Aziz before his meeting with Doval. Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other separatist leaders such as Yasin Malik and Naeem Khan have been invited by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit for talks on August 23. Basit arrives in Delhi on Sunday.
India maintains that the Pakistani invite to Kashmiri separatist leaders was “designed to scuttle” the NSA talks, and follows a typical pattern of the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment since the Ufa talks to heighten tension.