Pak invites Hurriyat (M) for talks

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Srinagar: In a significant development, Pakistan has extended invitation to Mirwaiz led Hurriyat Conference to visit Islamabad for holding fresh round of talks on Kashmir, sources said.
The development comes in the backdrop of Pakistan granting MFN status to India to strengthen its trade ties with New Delhi. Mirwaiz who along with senior separatist leaders Shabir Ahmad Shah and Syed Agha Hassan are camping in New Delhi for apprising foreign diplomats on Kashmir issue received a formal invitation from Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik on behalf of Pakistan Government. Malik according to sources returned from Islamabad on Wednesday evening.
Sources said the High Commissioner held a four hour meeting with Miirwaiz, Shah and Hassan on Thursday during which the formalities of the Hurriyat delegation’s visit to Pakistan were discussed.
“Mirwaiz has accepted the invitation minutes after receiving it,” sources added.
Hurriyat (M) leaders had previously visited Pakistan in 2008. However, this will be for the first time after 2010 uprising, that Hurriyat will be engaged in official talks.
Though both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference have been holding informal meets with different civil societies and NGO’s but they have refused to talk to centre and the New Delhi appointed interlocutors.
Meanwhile, sources revealed to KNS that the development would likely be taken as a positive step by New Delhi who according to sources wants separatist leaders to be engaged in talks.
Mirwiaz confirmed to KNS from New Delhi that his faction got an invitation. “We received an invitation letter from Pak High Commissioner today and we have instantly accepted it,” he said.
He said that a meeting of Hurriyat will be held after his return from New Delhi in which the delegation will be nominated for the visit.

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