Srinagar: Separatists to meet Pakistan envoy today

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Mar 22, 2015 08:29 IST

Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit is likely to meet senior separatist leaders from Kashmir on Sunday. The meeting is second between senior separatist leadership and the Pakistan envoy after dialogue process resumed between India and Pakistan.

The separatist leaders, who include hardliner Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairmen of the two factions of the Hurriyat Conference, are also likely to attend the Pakistan Day function in New Delhi.

Geelani is likely to lead a delegation of the amalgam at the function in the Pakistan high commission, where Pakistan Day function will be held on March 23. Mirwaiz is also likely to attend the function with senior leaders from his faction.

The two will, however, have a one-on-one meeting with the Pakistani envoy before attending the function. This is second time after talks resumed between India and Pakistan that separatist leadership will be meeting Basit.

Hurriyat leader Geelani had earlier met Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit on March 9. The half-an-hour meeting had taken place at the separatist leader's residence in New Delhi. Basit had briefed Geelani about the secretary-level talks between the two countries in the meeting.

The reports that the Pakistan high commissioner was likely to meet other separatist leaders also to brief them about the foreign secretary-level talks also surfaced during that time.

The meetings with the Pak envoy are important as separatists had shown willingness to engage New Delhi for a 'sincere' dialogue.

Both hardline and moderate separatist leaders had said that 'a pre-conditioned dialogue' was possible.

The separatist camp had reacted positively to governor NN Vohra's assembly speech saying: "We will initiate a meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders to resolve all outstanding issues."

While Mirwaiz had said that his organisation supports dialogue process that deals with the political question of Kashmir, Geelani camp had said can support dialogue if its aimed to finding a solution in accordance with "the aspirations and wishes of people of Kashmir".

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