HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

'Bilateral talks cannot resolve Kashmir issue'

PTI  Srinagar, August 18, 2014
First Published: 13:44 IST(18/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:46 IST(18/8/2014)

Senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah on Monday welcomed the upcoming Indo-Pak foreign secretary level talks but maintained that bilateral dialogue between the two countries would not resolve the Kashmir issue as people of the state were principal party to the dispute.

"We welcome the talks between India and Pakistan but bilateral talks cannot resolve Kashmir issue as we have seen such initiatives always ended in failure over the past six decades," Shah told media.

Shah said, "the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved without the inclusion of 'true leadership' of Jammu and Kashmir in the resolution process as we are the basic party".

There was nothing wrong in Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit meeting the separatist leaders from Kashmir ahead of the foreign secretary level talks, Shah added.

Basit has invited the separatist leadership of Kashmir including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik for consultations in Delhi on August 19.

The meeting has been scheduled for the August 25, for talks between foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and her Pakistan counterpart in Islamabad.

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