Indian-controlled Kashmir separatists meet Pakistan FM

17:00, July 27, 2011      

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Top separatist leaders of Indian-controlled Kashmir from hardline and moderate factions of Hurriyat (freedom) Conference met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New Delhi ahead her talks with her Indian counterpart SM Krishana, officials said Wednesday.

The separatists Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who were invited by the Pakistan high commission office to New Delhi, met Khar Tuesday evening in the office.

Both leaders are learnt to have emphasized the importance of including Kashmiris in the parleys between India and Pakistan aimed at resolving Kashmir issue.

Prior to meeting these separatists, Khar met with chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Mohammed Yasin Malik in Islamabad on Monday. Malik is currently on a visit to Pakistan.

The meeting of Pakistan foreign minister with Kashmiri separatists prior to her official meeting with Indian foreign minister however has not gone well with New Delhi.

The two ministers are meeting in New Delhi Wednesday to discuss all outstanding issues between them. Kashmir is likely to come up in the discussions.

The leaders are expected to announce confidence-building measures for expanding trade and travel across the Line of Control (LoC), a line dividing Kashmir into two parts between India and Pakistan.

New Delhi is accusing Islamabad of fomenting trouble in its controlled part by arming and training militants. However, Islamabad denies the allegation and states it only provides moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris.

Separatists in the region are demanding the end of New Delhi's rule in the region.

A guerrilla war is also going on between militants and the Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their Independence from British, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

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