Hurriyat leaders released after being placed under house arrest ahead of NSA talks

Just hours after they were placed under house arrest, Kashmiri separatist leaders were on Thursday released by authorities in Srinagar indicating a confused response to their proposed meeting with Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz.

Hurriyat Conference has said that its leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Abbas Ansari among the leaders had been placed under house arrest. Separatist leaders in J&K had confirmed that Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit has invited them for talks with Pakistan National Advisor Sartaj Aziz before he holds talks with his Indian counterpart. The invite to separatists was seen as a move designed to provoke India, but the government has said it will not be baited into cancelling the talks, which will see the resumption of dialogue between the two countries after a year.

Slamming the house arrest former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “If the Centre was so keen to prevent the Hurriyat leaders from meeting Sartaj Aziz, they should’ve been told to detain them themselves.” Reacting to the house arrest Hurriyat(G) spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said, “This is for the first time the separatist leadership is not allowed to meet Pakistan officials. We have attended receptions and meetings at the high commission in the past. The step was totally uncalled for,”.

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