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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2008
International

'Pak to hold talks with Kashmiri leaders before dialogue'

Pakistan will hold talks with Kashmiri separatist leaders before starting the next round of the Composite Dialogue with India later this month, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said.

As Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other separatist leaders arrived in Pakistan yesterday, Qureshi noted that he had invited them to exchange views on the Kashmir issue before travelling to India later this week.

Qureshi will meet other Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi before starting talks with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee during his visit beginning on June 27.

Appreciating the apparent move for unity among the Kashmiri separatist leadership launched by rival Hurriyat leaders Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Qureshi told reporters at the airport here late last night after his return from Uganda that this would be a "good omen to promote the cause of the Kashmiris in a better and effective way".

Qureshi, who attended a meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in the Ugandan capital Kampala recently, said the representatives of Kashmiris from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) participated in the meet.

Qureshi will be accompanied by a six-member delegation comprising senior officials and recently appointed Ambassador-at-Large Nasir Ali Khan during his first visit to India. He will hold talks with the top Indian leadership and interact with business leaders during the four-day visit.

He will also travel to Ajmer to visit the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti and to Chandigarh, where he will participate in a meet aimed at increasing cooperation and contacts between India's Punjab state and Pakistan's Punjab province.

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