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Pak. envoy draws flak for inviting separatists

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah on Sunday said Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan would be able to break the ice between the two nations only if the intention of the neighbouring country was good. File photo

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah on Sunday said Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan would be able to break the ice between the two nations only if the intention of the neighbouring country was good. File photo  

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A move by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to invite Kashmiri separatist leaders here on Tuesday for ‘consultations’, ahead of Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks scheduled in Islamabad on August 25, has been criticised by the BJP and the Congress.

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah, speaking at a conference in Srinagar on Sunday, maintained that the move would ‘certainly hamper’ the atmosphere for the talks.

Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said any signal by Pakistan that it is directly or indirectly encouraging separatism would not only adversely affect India but also boomerang on it.

The Congress took a dig at the government suggesting that it is looking the other way as Islamabad continues to pursue anti-India agenda.

It is not the first time that the Pakistan mission has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders for consultations. For several years, the Pakistan mission in New Delhi has been interacting with these leaders before every major diplomatic contact between India and Pakistan.

Separatist leaders in Kashmir have confirmed that they had received an invitation from the Pakistani High Commission for August 19 and said it was a routine before any talks between Indian and Pakistan.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 8:31:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indiapakistan-foreign-secretary-talks-union-minister-for-minority-affairs-najma-heptullah-puts-onus-on-pakistan/article6325988.ece

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