NEW DELHI: Three Kashmiri separatist leaders who were placed under house arrest earlier today (Thursday) have now been freed, indicating confusion on the issue, said a report published on Indian media.
The house arrests came days before the separatists’ scheduled meeting in New Delhi with Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz this weekend.
Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani along with separatists Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been invited for a meeting on Sunday at the Pakistan High Commission where Sartaj Aziz is scheduled to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
Indian media quoted Indian officials on Wednesday as saying that a “surprise” awaited Pakistan in the talks. However, this was not elaborated.
The meeting between the two countries’ security advisers signals the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan after a one year hiatus.
Aziz had said that his upcoming visit to New Delhi was “not a breakthrough in terms of composite dialogue and all the issues” but more of an ice breaking on some issues.
He had further said that both sides should hope that the meeting will lead to “more comprehensive dialogue on the other issues between the two countries”.
The meeting was first agreed upon between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at their talks in Ufa (Russia) in July.
The two premiers had agreed that a meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) will be convened to “discuss all issues connected to terrorism”.
Since the July meeting however, militant attacks and border skirmishes have poisoned the atmosphere between Islamabad and New Delhi.
The NSAs meeting was proposed with the objective of discussing the terrorist threat faced by India and Pakistan within their respective borders.
The invitation for dialogue came from New Delhi and in the shadow of the July 27 militant attack in Gurdaspur, which some Indian leaders have blamed on Pakistan.
India is also planning to raise the issue of the trial of the alleged plotters of the Mumbai attacks by a Pakistani court and the bail for Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the principal accused in the case.
Pakistan would, meanwhile, want to flag its concerns about alleged Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Karachi, Balochistan and the country’s tribal areas.
India has long been accused of fuelling insurgency in Balochistan and unrest in Karachi. India’s premier intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has also been accused of patronising militant groups that have been fighting the Pakistan Army in the country’s tribal areas.