Ahead Of Talks, Pakistan To Meet Kashmiri Leaders

Ahead Of Talks, Pakistan To Meet Kashmiri Leaders

21 February 2010
Indian Express
Shishir Gupta

New Delhi: A day before Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir will meet his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao here, he is expected to meet All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at Pakistan High Commission to project a united face of the Kashmiri separatists. Sources told The Indian Express that already separatist leaders have been sounded out by the Pakistan High Commission apparently through Deputy High Commissioner Rifat Masood and the meeting was sealed by APHC leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in an internal meeting in Srinagar three days ago. Pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Geelani is already in Delhi and is undergoing medical treatment. Agha Badgami and People’s Conference leader Bilal Lone are also expected to attend the meeting. It is learnt that the Kashmiri separatists will now emphasize on a tripartite dialogue on the vexed Kashmir issue rather than the ongoing discreet bilateral dialogue with Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi. This change of tactic was discussed in the APHC meeting where Abdul Gani Bhatt raised the point that why should Kashmiris insist on a tripartite dialogue at a time when Pakistan is keeping them out in the bilateral engagement with India.


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