Hope we overcome (Hurriyat) setback, says Pak’s envoy

Basit, who took charge as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India in April this year said, Dialogue is not a favour by Pakistan to India or vice versa.

By: Express News Service Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: August 20, 2014 9:57 pm
Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit

Two days after India called off the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan, Islamabad’s envoy Abdul Basit on Wednesday expressed hope that the two sides would “overcome the setback”, and described his meetings with the Kashmiri separatist leaders as a “helpful” interaction with “legitimate stakeholders”.

New Delhi called off the August 25 bilateral talks after Basit went ahead with his meetings with the Hurriyat leaders. Stressing that the two sides should keep the “diplomacy doors ajar” and “diplomacy is the art of the possible”, Basit said, “We need to engage with all stakeholders. It is not a question of either or as far as we are concerned. We are engaging with India to find peaceful ways.”

He was responding to New Delhi’s stand that Pakistan should choose between dialogue with separatists or with the Indian government. Stating that he “did not breach any diplomatic protocol” by meeting the Hurriyat leaders, he said such meetings have been a “longstanding practice” since the Kashmir issue is a “dispute” between the two countries.

“We strongly believe that our interaction is helpful to the process itself. It is helpful to find a peaceful solution to the problem. It is important to engage with all stakeholders. So that is the bottomline for us,” said Basit.

Reacting to his statements, the Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that after 1972 and the signing of the Simla Agreement by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, there are “only two stakeholders” on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir — the Union of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. “This is a principle which is the bedrock of our bilateral relations. This was reaffirmed in the Lahore Declaration of 1999 between Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Atal Behari Vajpayee,” he said.

On why India permitted meetings between Pakistani officials and Hurriyat leaders in the past, he said, “We all know the answer to that question quite well. Pakistan assured us, at the highest level, that they were committed to a peaceful dialogue on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and would not allow Pakistan or territories under its control to be used for terrorism against us.”

He said, “However, we know now, particularly after the Mumbai terror attacks and the manner in which Pakistan has pursued subsequent investigations and trials, that this assurance had no meaning and that an approach that is different to the one laid down by the Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration does not yield results.”

Basit, who took charge as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India in April this year, said, “Dialogue is not a favour by Pakistan to India or vice versa.”
He, however, said, that “the setback should not disappoint us, discourage us to finding ways and means as to how to take the process forward in line with our leadership’s visions on both sides of the border. So, we will try our maximum to see how this process can be taken forward.”

Stating that there was no need to be “pessimistic”, he emphasised that the Kashmir issue should be looked at “dispassionately”. He also clarified that the possibility of a meeting between Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next month, has not yet been planned or finalised.

 

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  1. A
    Ashish
    Aug 20, 2014 at 8:36 am
    J&K has an elected government and the so called separatists have no locus standi. Talks should be between govt to govt and no third party needs to be involved.
    Reply
  2. R
    Ripple
    Aug 21, 2014 at 8:08 am
    "Abdul Basit on Wednesday expressed hope that the two sides would “overcome the setback”, and described his meetings with the Kashmiri separatist leaders as a “helpful” interaction with “legitimate stakeholders”.Shame on Kashmiri separatist leaders. TRAITORS.
    Reply
  3. R
    Ripple
    Aug 21, 2014 at 8:07 am
    "Abdul Basit on Wednesday expressed hope that the two sides would “overcome the setback”, and described his meetings with the Kashmiri separatist leaders as a “helpful” interaction with “legitimate stakeholders”.Shame on Kashmiri separatist leaders. TRAITORS..
    Reply
  4. R
    Ripple
    Aug 21, 2014 at 7:57 am
    If we grant freedom for Kashmir, the Kashmiris will get the real taste of stan. Soon Kashmir will be a factory for bomb manufacturing. They will trouble the Kashmiris like . Next they will claim that Jammu and Delhi belongs to stan. They will create violence telling, Delhi want freedom. They will convert people of Delhi to Muslim. Soon they will tell that majority of people in Delhi is muslims, and we want a seperate muslim state. They will demolish all the temple and church in delhi and construct mosque there. Slowly they will protest against the government and the guys will start pelting stones on the streets on armed forces personnel. The armed forces will not have any other option than firing them to stop the culprits of violence. Then they WILL blame armed forces in front of the media telling that, the armed forces are killing innocent people. DISGUSTING.
    Reply
  5. R
    Ripple
    Aug 21, 2014 at 8:05 am
    You said it. "Do Mr Basit or Prime Minister of stan shall appreciate if Indian High Commission invite BALUCHISTAN SEPARATIST LEADERS for informal talk". Let Hurriyat leaders, stan Govt, and Indian National Congress read this.
    Reply
  6. B
    Brijkhanna
    Aug 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    Mr Basit stan Envoy or any other leader must now carefully note that India is now ruled by Mr Narender Modi. If previous govts have been lenient or non-observant, it does not mean that you shall measure with the same yard stick.Do Mr Basit or Prime Minister of stan shall appreciate if Indian High Commission invite BALUCHISTAN SEPARATIST LEADERS for informal talk. We want stan a stable prosperous c Country. We amply know a hungry/unstable/maniac NEIGHBOR is more dangerous than a PROSPEROUS STABLE Neighbor. If we say being High Commission, you mind your own business and do not meddle into our internal affairs, I hope it more appropriate than asking you to go back.
    Reply
  7. D
    DSFL10
    Aug 20, 2014 at 10:21 am
    Why Indian Govt need to discuss Kashmir issue with sthan when Kashmir is integral part of India. The Pak envoy should be reprimanded for speaking to separatist group and such envoys should be deported immediately.
    Reply
  8. P
    Praful R
    Aug 21, 2014 at 3:40 am
    Do not under estimate Mr. Modi.
    Reply
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