Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to visit his country but the Kashmiri separatist leader said the visit would depend on whether India revalidates his passport.
“Geelani was handed the invitation letter from Sharif by Pakistan high commissioner in India Abdul Basit over a dinner at the latter’s residence at Tilak Marg in Delhi last night (Friday),” a spokesman of the Geelani-led Hurriyat said on Saturday.
“Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has extended an open invitation to me to visit Pakistan. No specific date has been set for my visit,” Geelani told IANS over phone.
“The Indian authorities had given me a passport for nine months which has now been impounded. They (India) should revalidate my passport so that my visit to Pakistan is facilitated,” he said.
Earlier, elaborating on Pakistan PM’s invitation, a spokesperson of Hurriyat said Sharif termed the Kashmir issue as the unfinished agenda of the creation of Pakistan and contended that friendly relations between New Delhi and Islamabad without resolving Kashmir would be nothing but “self deceit”.
“In the letter, Sharif has said Kashmir is not a border dispute but concerns ‘right to self-determination’ of two crore people. He also said Pakistan has made it clear to India that there can be no progress on bilateral ties while ignoring Kashmir issue,” the spokesman claimed.
Sharif also said that the National Security Advisor level talks between the two countries could not take place as “India was not ready to talk Kashmir issue”.
“We want good relations with all our neighbours including India but New Delhi’s unrealistic approach has been a big impediment,” the spokesman quoted the Pakistan Prime Minister having said in the letter.