New Delhi | May 01 (PTK): Government of India has said that leaders representing All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) are just like any other Indian citizen.
“They can meet any representative from any nation in India, be it Pakistan itself. But if the Pakistanis decide to meet with them, the government (of India) would object on the grounds that such meetings constitute interference in India’s internal affairs,” a report said on Sunday.
The right wing Hindu nationalist, BJP, led union government had cancelled the then foreign secretary Sugatha Singh’s trip to Islamabad in 2014 August in reaction to Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit meeting Hurriyat leader Hurriyat Conference leader Shabir Shah days before Singh’s planned trip.
“On April 28, 2016, the minister of state for external affairs General V K Singh answered a query, which had been received in the past, about the meeting between Shah and Basit. This time, the question was framed in the context of their presence at the Pakistan Day (2016) celebrations,” thewire.in reported.
Singh’s written reply claimed, “Since the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India and these so-called Kashmiri ‘leaders’ are Indian citizens, there is no bar on their meetings with representatives of any country in India.”
The deputy foreign Minister said, “However, India has consistently maintained that there is no role for a third party in the bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan as per the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.