No change in our policy towards Hurriyat: Pakistan envoy

No change in our policy towards Hurriyat: Pakistan envoy

There is no change in Pakistan's policy towards Hurriyat leaders as they represent voice of Kashmiris, Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit said today and hoped that the dialogue process will not be halted even if there were roadblocks.

The remarks came a day after Pakistan Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz announced that Foreign Secretaries of the two countries will meet next month to work out the details of the newly-announced Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. The meeting is expected to take place in Delhi.

"Hurriyat represents aspirations of people of Kashmir. As far as we are concerned, there is no change in our policy towards them," Basit said speaking at "Aaj Tak Agenda" programme here.

He was asked whether Hurriyat leaders will be invited for dinner if there was talks between India and Pakistan here and if they happen to be in Delhi.

Angered by Pakistan's consultations with Kashmiri separatists, India in August last year had called off talks between Foreign Secretaries of the two countries, telling it bluntly to choose between an Indo-Pak dialogue or hobnobbing with the separatists.

Calling resumption of dialogue process signal of beginning of a new phase in bilateral ties, the envoy said efforts must be made to remove negativity in Indo-Pak discourse and both sides should try to accomodate each other's expectations and concerns.

He said Kashmir is the main issue between India and Pakistan and a solution has to be found as per aspirations of people of Kashmir. "It was time both the neighbours behave as mature nations".

Asked whether the dialogue process may get derailed if there was an attack on India by Pakistan-based terror groups, Basit said talks should go on overcoming any hurdles as a decision was taken to resume the peace process.

"We issued the joint statement expecting that talks will go on. There will be forces in Pakistan as well as in India who do not want talks. We should not be hostage to them," said Basit.

On Wednesday, India and Pakistan had announced that they have decided to engage in a "comprehensive" dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir. The announcement was made during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Islamabad.

Calling the Mumbai attack case a "very complex" one, Basit said Pakistan will try its best to expedite the trial as soon as possible while following all the judicial process. He did not give a specific reply when asked whether Pakistan will share with India voice samples of mastermind of the attack Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Basit said Pakistan was a major victim of terrorism which inflicted heavy cost on it. "Absolutely", Basit said when asked whether Pakistan was fed up with terrorism."I will not go into details. Lot of issues were discussed during the meeting of NSAs of the two countries in Bangkok recently which could not be made public," he said.

Asked why Pakistan was not handing over to India underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Basit said he was not in Pakistan. He said India should give proof if it feels he was in Pakistan.

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