Pakistan has invited Kashmiri separatists for a talk with NSA Sartaj Aziz on August 23 in New Delhi .
“Over a dozen separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Farooq and Yasin Malik, have been invited for a dinner with Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi,” Times Now reported on Wednesday.
Pakistan army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar called on PM Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming visit of prime minister’s advisor on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi.
Aziz will travel to India on August 23 for talks with his counterpart Ajit Doval.
Sharif’s discussions with the military top brass came a day after he chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the agenda of the NSA-level talks.
India had cancelled foreign secretary-level talks in August last year after the Pakistan high commissioner in New Delhi held consultations with Kashmiri separatists.
India had proposed August 23-24 for the meeting which was agreed between PM Sharif and his counterpart Narendra Modi in Ufa, Russia, last month.
The NSA talks are mandated to “discuss all issues connected to terrorism”, according to the Ufa joint statement.
India is expected to strongly voice its concerns regarding the recent Gurdaspur and Udhampur terror attacks by suspected Pakistani terrorists during the talks.
The two terror attacks and Pakistan refusing to invite the Jammu and Kashmir assembly speaker for a Commonwealth parliamentary meeting in Islamabad added to tension in bilateral ties, with speculation that the talks may be called off. However, India stuck to the dates it has proposed.