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Abdul Basit's meeting with Kashmiri leaders evoke sharp reaction

Press Trust of India

Last Updated: March 23, 2015, 18:53 IST

Abdul Basit's meeting with Kashmiri leaders evoke sharp reaction

"If anyone doesn't believe in Indian Constitution, then why should anyone talk to them?," said Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

New Delhi: Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's meetings with Kashmiri separatists and subsequent National Day celebrations invitation to them evoked sharp reaction on Monday from political leaders.

"If anyone doesn't believe in Indian Constitution, then why should anyone talk to them?," said Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

Another party leader and former Union Minister Anand Sharma said the Modi government should adopt a coherent and consistent approach to engage in talks with Pakistan.

"Talking about our neighbours, with Pakistan or China, relationships which are sensitive, complex and sometimes there have been areas of concern, have to be integral to the foreign policy. That is why I said it has to be consistent; it has to be a roadmap. And the Prime Minister alone knows what assurances he has given. Our concerns are about continued terror attacks," Sharma said.

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani said India will not tolerate if someone goes against it. "And whatever understanding we have with you (Pakistan) , you will have to respect our position."

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri felt the situation might "worsen" given the "signals" Pakistan was sending and the way Centre was responding. National Conference said dialogue was for reconciliation but the Centre needed to determine what will be the contours of the same.

"Dialogue is essential for any reconciliation. However, when, how and where dialogue takes place nd what will be the contour of the dialogue has to be decided by India," Devendra Singh Rana said.

The AAP took a dig at the BJP without naming it. "The so-called patriots in the Central government, who would shout on smallest of things, if they can kill dreams of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, then they can, join hands with separatists in Delhi too," Kumar Vishwas of AAP said.

India had called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan last year after Basit held consultations with Hurriyat leaders on the eve of the official talks.

on Sunday night Basit had met Mirwaiz Umar Farooq along with Abdul Gani Bhat, Maulana Abbas Ansari, Bilal Gani Lone, Aga Syed Hassan, Mussadiq Adil and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza and invited them on Monday's Pakistan National Day celebrations in New Delhi.

This meeting comes a fortnight after Basit had gone to the Delhi residence of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and updated him about the recent talks held in Islamabad between Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishanker and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

first published:March 23, 2015, 18:53 IST
last updated:March 23, 2015, 18:53 IST