Invite to Hurriyat leaders for Pak Day celebrations 'not an issue', says Abdul Basit

In a move which is likely to irk the political establishment in New Delhi, Islamabad has invited hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani and Asiya Andrabi among others to attend 'Pakistan Day' function at its High Commission in Delhi on Wednesday.

Last Updated: Mar 23, 2016, 11:41 AM IST
Invite to Hurriyat leaders for Pak Day celebrations 'not an issue', says Abdul Basit
Pic Courtesy: ANI

New Delhi: In a move which is likely to irk the political establishment in New Delhi, Islamabad has invited hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani and Asiya Andrabi among others to attend 'Pakistan Day' function at its High Commission in Delhi on Wednesday.

Commenting on the issue, Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit said, ''This was not an issue at all as Hurriyat leaders had been attending the reception for years.''

"Hurriyat leaders have been coming to our reception for years now, so we do not see this as an issue as far as Pakistan is concerned," Basit told ANI here.

Eyebrows have always risen whenever Pakistan has invited separatist leaders for different events sparking controversies.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh had represented the government at the Pakistan National Day reception last year causing an uproar.

Last year, India had cancelled the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan after Basit met Kashmiri separatists ahead of the planned meet.