- ‘We’ve been meeting and talking to them (pro-freedom camp), it is nothing unprecedented; unnecessary hype’, says Pak High Commission
Srinagar: According to last reports, New Delhi seemed to be inclined to go ahead with the NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan despite the Pakistan High Commission inviting Kashmir’s pro-freedom camp to meet Pakistan’s NSA Sartaj Aziz.
Agencies quoted sources as saying that India would make its stand clear ‘later’ after the pro-freedom leaders were invited for the reception being held in Aziz’s honour by the Pakistan mission.
Last year, India had unilaterally called off Foreign Secretary-level talks after the Pakistan High Commissioner here had held “consultations” with the Kashmiri leaders on the eve of the FS-level meeting.
Yet, at the same time, reports said that the Indian government would “respond appropriately” if the Pakistanis go ahead with the meeting with the Kashmiri pro-freedom camp. Agency reports said New Delhi was “clearly unhappy” over the invitation.
“Let’s see what happens (if they go ahead with the meeting). The government will respond appropriately,” government sources were quoted as saying.
The sources asserted that there were “some sections in the Pakistan establishment” who want to “scuttle” the Indo-Pak talks. “The invitation should be seen as the latest provocative move in that direction,” the sources were quoted as saying.
On its part, the Pakistan High Commission on Wednesday justified its invitation to the Kashmiri leaders, saying such meetings are not “unprecedented”. “We have been meeting and talking to them (Kashmiri pro-freedom camp). There is nothing unprecedented about it. I don’t understand why there is so much hype,” Manzoor Ali Memon, Counsellor (Press) in the Pakistan High Commission, was quoted as saying.
Last week, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had said his country will not “abandon” the Kashmiris’ “legitimate struggle for freedom”, stressing that to have a normal and cooperative relationship with India it was necessary to settle the decades-old dispute.
—With inputs from PTI