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Sartaj Aziz meets Hurriyat leaders, draws sharp reactions

By Himanshu Kapoor | Last Updated: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 23:41

Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor

New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz met with the Kashmiri separatist groups on Sunday in the national capital.

Sartaj Aziz along with Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir on Sunday evening reached Pakistan High Commission here to meet the moderate faction led by Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

Apart from Farooq, JKLF chief Yasin Malik, hardline Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani also met with Aziz inside Pakistan High Commission. Dukhtaran-e-Millat Chief Asiya Andrabi also held meeting with Aziz.

After the meeting, while saying that this is not the first time that the Hurriyat is meeting Pakistan leadership, Farooq said, "We need cooperation rather than confrontation on peace issues." He further added that, "The meeting was aimed at solving the Kashmir issue which is a key element for normalising ties between India and Pakistan."

Earlier today, BJP president Rajnath Singh hit out at the UPA government and said that by allowing Aziz to hold talks with Kashmiri separatist leaders the UPA government has committed another diplomatic blunder.

Rajnath had tweeted, "Shocked to see that the UPA government has allowed Pakistan PM`s advisor Sartaj Aziz to hold talks with Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi."
However, the government said that when it comes to the issue of Kashmir it is not going to compromise in any way.

On the contentious issue between India and Pakistan regarding J&K, Rajnath maintained, "Kashmir issue is India’s internal matter and it should be resolved through a home grown solution."
Reacting strongly against the meeting, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, “How can UPA allow Mr. Aziz to hold talks with kashmiri separatists at a time when even talks btw Indian govt & Pak govt should not be held?”

First Published: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 19:01
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