New Delhi: Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit has invited Kashmiri separatists to New Delhi on August 23 for a reception party hosted in honour of visiting National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.
Aziz will arrive here on August 23. He will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
Hurriyat leaders received a call from Pakistan High Commission on Tuesday evening inviting them to the High Commission. The meet between Hurriyat leaders and Aziz is scheduled for the evening of August 23.
The invited leaders include Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
"Geelani sahib has been invited by the High Commission. Pakistan wants to take the separatists on board before resumption of talks with India," Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said.
Last year, India had annulled foreign secretary level talks between two sides after Basit met Kashmiri separatist ahead of the planned meet.
Recently, the Pakistan High Commission had invited the separatists for a Eid Milan but top Hurriyat leaders and others had rejected the invitation.
We have been invited for talks: Kashmir separatist leaders
Meanwhile, separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday confirmed the Pakistan envoy in New Delhi has invited them for talks with Pakistan National Advisor Sartaj Aziz before he holds talks with his Indian counterpart.
Both the factions of Huriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other separatist leaders such as Yasin Malik and Naeem Khan have been invited by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit for talks on August 23.
"We received the invite over phone on Tuesday evening. The Pakistan envoy wants us (Geelani and his party leaders) to meet Sartaj Aziz before talks with India," Ayaz Akbar, spokesperson for Geelani's Huriyat Conference, told IANS over phone on Wednesday.
Aziz is scheduled to fly here for talks with India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on August 23.
Farooq's spokesperson Shahid-Ul-Islam also confirmed the invite and said: "We have been invited for the reception of Sartaj Aziz on the day of NSA talks. But we are yet to take a decision."
In September 2014, ahead of the Foreign Secretary Level talks between India and Pakistan, India had called it off as Pakistan had invited separatist leaders for talks.