Abdul Basit meets Hurriyat leader Geelani in Delhi

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit met on Tuesday Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Delhi.

According to NDTV, Basit inquired about the Hurriyat leader’s health and discussed views on the disputed part of his homeland.

He “assured him that Pakistan will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and their legitimate right of self-determination,” said a statement from the high commission.

The huddle, it is feared, will aggravate the tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pathankot attack.

India had earlier called off foreign secretary-level bilateral talks with Pakistan, which were scheduled to be held in August 2014, after a meeting between Basit and Hurriyat leaders from Kashmir.

A spokesperson for external affairs ministry had announced the talks were being called off due to Pakistan’s “unacceptable, interference” in India’s internal affairs.

In response, the Foreign Office said Pakistan would continue its longstanding practice of meeting with Kashmiri leadership despite objections raised by the Indian government.

“As you well know, meetings between the Hurriyat leadership and the High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi are a longstanding practice and will continue,” Riffat Masood, the acting spokesperson of the Foreign Office had said.

Things started settling between the arch-rivals after Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan in December 2015. However, the Pathankot air base attack in India once again created tensions and talks were stalled.

However, both sides have said they remain committed to the developing dialogues at the foreign secretary level.

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