Doubts Over NSA Talks as Pakistan Flirts With Hurriyat Leaders

Pakistan refuses to back down over the Kashmir issue; insists that the dispute will be a priority in dialogues.

1 min read
Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani greeting Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. (Photo: PTI)

While foreign secretary level talks remain uncertain, Pakistan has refused to back down over the Kashmir issue, insisting that the dispute will be a priority in the dialogue with India, according to the The Times of India. Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit has assured Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support “to the people of J&K and their legitimate right to self-determination”. He also hoped that the Kashmir dispute would be settled between Pakistan and India through dialogue.

Basit had expressed the same sentiment before moderate Hurriyat member Mirwaiz Umar Farooq when he met him at the high commission on Monday evening. Farooq said that Basit had assured him that the Gilgit-Baltistan region would continue to be a part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

In 2014, the NDA called off foreign secretary talks because of Basit’s meeting with Hurriyat functionaries days before the dialogue. Islamabad has continued to maintain that there is no change in its policy on Hurriyat. It still regards the group as the real representative of Jammu and Kashmir.

During the hour-and-a-half long meeting between Basit and Geelani, the Hurriyat chief pointed out his reservations over the dialogue.

India is not sincere in talks and resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Talks are a timepass for India. Had India been sincere, it would have accepted Kashmir as a dispute and would not call it an integral part. 
Ayaz Akbar, Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s spokesperson, quoting Geelani
Geelani sahab told Basit that holding dialogue takes off the attention of the atrocities committed by Indian forces on Kashmiris. Make Kashmir dispute core agenda of any dialogue with India.

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