Timing of meeting Hurriyat leaders ‘not totally right': Pak

RSTV Bureau

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Pakistan admitted on Sunday that the timing of its High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit’s meeting with the Hurriyat leaders ahead of the Foreign Secretary-level talks was “perhaps not totally right”.

Basit’s meeting with the Hurriyat leaders prompted India to call off the Foreign Secretary-level talks which were to be held in Islamabad on August 25.

Pointing out that while meetings between Pakistani diplomats and Hurriyat leaders had been a “regular practice for the last 30 years and there was nothing new in it”,

Pakistan’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said: “In this case perhaps, the timing was not totally right because the substantial discussion on Kashmir was yet to start.”

The FS-level meeting on August 25 was to declare the agenda (of bilateral talks), he said.

Aziz said had the request from India about not holding meeting with Hurriyat leaders ahead of the FS-level meeting because the timing was not right come a little earlier “probably it could have been considered.”

However, in this case the “message came at a time when one Hurriyat leader was already in Pakistan’s High Commission (in New Delhi),” he told Headlines Today news channel.