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'Khar meeting Geelani and Mirwaiz a bad idea'

Kashmiri separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani met Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New Delhi on Tuesday evening, a day ahead of the meeting of the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2011 12:00 AM IST

Kashmiri separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani met Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New Delhi on Tuesday evening, a day ahead of the meeting of the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers.

Though there is nothing new in Pakistan leaders engaging the Hurriyat brass, Indian officials termed Pakistan foreign minister’s meeting them a “bad idea”— and hoped Khar would prevail on them to talk “peace and reconciliation”.

Hardline Hurriyat leader Geelani, who met Khar at the Pakistan High Commission office, said he had apprised the Pakistani foreign minister of the situation in Kashmir.

Coming out of the meeting, Geelani said he told Khar that without the participation of Kashmir in talks, the issue would never be resolved.

Asked how hopeful he was of the latest India-Pakistan talks, the Hurriyat leader said: “As long as the ground situation in Kashmir remains the same, there are no hopes that the issue will be resolved.”

He also termed as “unfair” the arrest in the US of suspected Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence operative and separatist Kashmiri leader Ghulam Nabi Fai. Geelani said Fai represented the voice of Kashmiris and “it is not illegal to speak for Kashmiris”.Geelani led a two-member delegation for the talks.

However, the details of Mirwaiz’s meeting with Khar is still not known. The Hurriyat leaders flew in from Srinagar on Tuesday morning.

Chairman of the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik, who was also invited, decided to skip the talks with Khar in Delhi as he had met her in Islamabad on Monday.

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