NSA talks on track

 The recent series of “provocations” from across the border will not derail the talks between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart, Sartaj Aziz, scheduled for August 23 and 24, officials said on Wednesday.

They were reacting to Islamabad’s invitation of Kashmiri separatist leaders to a “reception” hosted for Mr. Aziz at the Pakistan High Commission here on August 23.

After a meeting of the Hurriyat leadership in Srinagar on Wednesday, the chairpersons of the moderate and hard-line factions — Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani — confirmed their acceptance of the invitation, and added that the Hurriyat “supports” the India-Pakistan talks.

“We have accepted the invitation,” the Mirwaiz told The Hindu . “We had an intra-party meeting today [Wednesday] and decided that both countries must stop ceasefire violations and resume dialogue with Kashmiri representation.”

However, the government saw the invitation as a move by Pakistan to disrupt the talks, given India’s previous opposition to the separatists meeting the Pakistani leadership.

“The invitation should be seen as the latest provocative move in that direction,” an official said. “Let us see what happens [if they go ahead with the Hurriyat meeting]. The government will respond appropriately.”

Source: TH

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#20, #2015, #august

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