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Separtists' pressure works

The raising of Kashmir issue by Pakistani foreign secretary Salman Bashir at his meeting with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi on Thursday with the intensity he did was because of the pressure of Kashmiri separatists.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2010 21:54 IST
Arun Joshi

The raising of Kashmir issue by Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir at his meeting with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi on Thursday with the intensity he did was because of the pressure of Kashmiri separatists.



Pakistan has tried to keep Kashmiri separatists happy and on its side by raising the issue. Salman Bashir made it a starting point at his press conference in New Delhi on Thursday evening.



Although Pakistan has reiterated its six-decade old mantra of Kashmir being the “ core issue” between the two countries at the meeting, yet the way Salman Bashir picked it up with passion exhibited the pressure that Kashmiri separatists had mounted on him during their meeting with him on Wednesday evening.



The hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, according to sources, had warned Pakistan against relegating Kashmir issue ton water sharing or terrorism. He had said that other issues were sidelines.



Kashmiri separatists, who have backtracked from the dialogue process with New Delhi and have been articulating Pakistan’s view point , not denouncing the militancy related violence and encouraging the cult of stone pelters and profiling Kashmir as an “ occupied land”, witnessing unbridled human rights violations , had told Bashir in clear terms that Kashmir should be the first issue in Pakistan’s talks with India.



“We had told Pakistani Foreign Secretary that though we welcome the restart of the talks between India and Pakistan after a pretty long time, but the process would be meaningful only if Kashmir issue is discussed,” All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday.



“If Kashmir is there, we are with the process, otherwise this process is futile for us,” he said.



He was happy the way Pakistani Foreign Secretary had raised the issue.



Sources said that Kashmiri separatists also made it plain that if Pakistan is not going to speak in the terms, in which they wanted, then it would pose difficulties as the people in the Valley were interested in Kashmir and Kashmir alone.



Pakistan Foreign Secretary, however, had lot to hear about the infiltration and cover fire by Pakistani troops on the Line of Control and international border at the meeting.