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Hurriyat leaders to attend Pakistan Day celebrations in New Delhi: Sources

In what could further impact the already-strained Indo-Pak ties, sources claimed on Wednesday that several Kashmiri separatist leaders will be coming to Delhi to attend Pakistan Day celebrations on March 23.

The function will be organised at the Pakistan High Commission.

It is likely to be attended by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other Hurriyat Conference leaders.

It may be recalled that India had cancelled the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan in August last year when the latter’s High Commissioner, Abdul Basit, met Kashmiri separatist leaders just days before the dialogue in Islamabad.

Following that development, Pakistan had said that it will continue to interact with Hurriyat leaders in keeping with its traditional practice despite opposition from the Indian government.

Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had travelled to Pakistan as part of his SAARC Yatra and met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif among others. The two-day stop was the first high-level contact between the two countries since the August cancellation of talks.

It remains to be seen how the Indian government will react to Hurriyat leaders attending Pakistan Day celebrations in New Delhi.

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