Srinagar: With Indian establishment acting tough on separatist leaders, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik on Thursday decided not to attend reception of Pakistan High Commission and instead send two representatives to the event.
Malik's announcement came just hours after senior Kashmiri separatist leaders were today placed under house arrest here ahead of their scheduled meeting with Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi.
They were released within an hour.
The sudden arrest and immediate release of Kashmiri separatist leaders who are to meet Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz here introduced an intriguing element into the scheduled talks he will have with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on terror on next week.
The invitation by the Pakistan High Commission to hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other separatist leaders including Umar Farooq on Sunday to meet Aziz has upset New Delhi but Pakistan has stuck to the line that such meetings were "routine".
Pakistan Foreign office said in Islamabad that consultations with Hurriyat leaders) were a "routine matter" and a "long standing practice".
Earlier, the JKLF chairman was arrested by police from his Maisuma residence in Srinagar and taken to Kothibagh police station.
Sartaz Aziz was earlier scheduled to arrive in the morning on August 23 and head straight to Hyderabad House for the talks with Ajit Doval. However, as per reports, the plan has been tweaked further. As per the new itinerary, Aziz will arrive between 11 am and 2 pm on August 23 and attend the reception at the Pakistan High Commission in the same evening, for which Hurriyat leaders have been invited.