ISLAMABAD: Pakistan rejected on Friday India’s advice against meeting Hurriyat leaders ahead of rare weekend talks between the two countries’ top security advisers in New Delhi.
“The foreign secretary conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner that it would not be possible for Pakistan to accept this advice,” a press release issued by the Foreign Office said on Friday.
“Kashmir is a disputed territory as per the UN Security Council resolutions which remain unimplemented,” the press release added.
The Foreign Office pointed out that the Pakistani leadership has always interacted with Kashmir’s leadership during visits to India. “Pakistan sees no reason to depart from this established past practice.”
“The Hurriyat leaders are the true representatives of the Kashmiri people of the Indian occupied Kashmir,” the statement read.
Further, the Foreign Office said, “Pakistan regards them as genuine stakeholders in the efforts to find a lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute.”
According to the Foreign Office, it was made clear to India during the Ufa meeting between the prime ministers of both the countries that all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, will be discussed between the two counties.
“India’s insistence to introduce conditionalities and restrict the agenda for the dialogue, demonstrates a lack of seriousness on India’s part to meaningfully engage with Pakistan.”
Earlier today, India through its High Commissioner in Islamabad conveyed to the Pakistan government that National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz should not meet the Hurriyat leaders during the adviser’s forthcoming visit to India.
The Indian foreign ministry said it would not be ‘appropriate’ for Sartaj Aziz to hold the meeting on Sunday in New Delhi just before scheduled talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
India had cancelled talks with Pakistan last year between their foreign secretaries, outraged over a similar meeting that took place, a move that set back already tense relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours.