The Narendra Modi-led government has reportedly said that Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir are Indians and are free to meet representatives of Pakistan or any other foreign government.
According to reports, last week Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told Parliament, “Since the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India and these so-called Kashmiri ‘leaders’ are Indian citizens, there is no bar on their meetings with representatives of any country in India.”
He further added, “India has consistently maintained that there is no role for a third party in the bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan as per the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. India’s displeasure at Pakistan’s attempts to interfere in India’s internal affairs has been repeatedly conveyed to Pakistan.” Singh, said this while clarifing that there should not be any interference in bilateral talks between India and Pakistan.
Last week during ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in New Delhi, moderate Hurriyat Conference welcomed the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the saying both the countries should attempt to create a conducive atmosphere to carry forward the dialogue process.
“The Indo-Pak foreign secretary-level talks on the sidelines of Heart of Asia conference is a good sign and it is hoped that both the countries will shun the confrontational attitude and adopt meaningful dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir,” Hurriyat headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said in a statement in Srinagar.
“It is hoped that a conducive atmosphere will be created to carry forward the dialogue process,” the statement said.
Describing as “reality” Pakistan’s assertion that Kashmir is the core issue between the two countries, the Hurriyat said an atmosphere is needed to be created for resolution of the Kashmir issue through meaningful talks.
“There is a need for creating an atmosphere based on confidence building measures to start a meaningful dialogue among India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership to resolve Kashmir issue,” the statement said.