In­dia says it’s okay with Hur­riyat talk­ing to Pak

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In­dia has qui­etly dumped its most con­tro­ver­sial “red line” with Pak­istan. Two years af­ter im­pos­ing a pol­icy whereby Pak­istani of­fi­cials meet­ing Hur­riyat lead­ers was a dis­tinct “no-no”, In­dia has of­fi­cially walked back from this po­si­tion, as it has be­come in­creas­ingly un­ten­able. In a writ­ten an­swer to Par­lia­ment last week, min­is­ter of state for ex­ter­nal af­fairs VK Singh had stated, “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.”

He, how­ever, clar­i­fied that there could be no role for any third party in the In­di­aPak­istan di­a­logue process. “In­dia has con­sis­tently main­tained that there is no role for a third party in the bi­lat­eral di­a­logue be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan as per the Simla Agree­ment and the La­hore Dec­la­ra­tion.”

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