Days after the ice-breaking foreign secretary-level talks between two nations, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit met Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in New Delhi to discuss outcomes of the talks and political developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting on March 9 yet again threatens to sour a positive mood in bilateral relations, which was seen during the recent visit of India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to Pakistan – a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s SAARC Yatra initiative. India had previously cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks over the Basit’s meetings with Kashmiri separatists.
“Pakistan High Commissioner came to me. We had a discussion on Indian Foreign Secretary’s visit to Pakistan,” Mr Geelani said after attending the meet, which lasted for more than half an hour.
“Prominent issue is that Jammu and Kashmir issue must be resolved by dialogue between India and Pakistan. Around 150 dialogues between India and Pakistan have taken place, but none of them have come to a conclusion,” he added.
Replying to a recent controversial release of Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam, Geelani said Alam was falsely implicated and accusations against him are untrue.
“The court has released Masarat. He has been out on bail several times. All the FIRs against him had been rejected by the court. So, his release is not a big deal. Also, the accusations against him are not true, I know him very well,” he said.
According to sources, Mr Basit also invited Mr Geelani for Pakistan Day on March 23.
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