Meeting between Aziz, Kashmir separatist leaders was ‘stormy’

Sartaj Aziz

THE meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz and Kashmiri separatists was "stormy", with separatist leaders led by JKLF chairman Yasin Malik expressing "displeasure" at the manner in which Pakistan has handled Kashmir, according to an analysis by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) based on inputs provided by intelligence agencies.

Apart from Malik, chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani attended the meeting held at the Pakistan High Commission. Malik is learnt to have raised the issue of Kashmir with Aziz and told him that Pakistan has only been selling dreams of 'azadi' to Kashmiris without actually doing anything about it. It is also learnt that separatist leaders rejected Pakistan's demand to raise the issue of Kashmir at the UN General Assembly. Pakistan has, of late, tried to internationalise the Kashmir issue by raising it at the UN General Assembly meeting this year.

Malik is also learnt to have highlighted the fact that Pakistan has never raised the issue of Kashmir in its dialogue with India at any forum. He is also believed to have told Aziz that the plight of Kashmiris has not been addressed by Pakistan and they do not seem serious about the issue.

Home Ministry sources also said the rise in violence and militant activities in the Valley came up during the discussion.

Aziz also met separatist leader and Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chief Asiya Andrabi. Andrabi is said to have pleaded for the release of her two nephews, who were arrested in Pakistan for allegedly being involved in terror activities. Aziz is learnt to have told Andrabi that one of her nephews, an aeronautical engineer, is safe and is working on a project to counter drone missiles.

The meeting between the separatists and Aziz has become a bone of contention between the Congress and the BJP, with the Opposition raising strong objection, calling it a 'diplomatic blunder'. A day later, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde divulged details of meeting and added that such meetings have been taking place since the NDA regime.

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