Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, chairman of the moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference, and hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Tuesday described the Narendra Modi government’s decision to call off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan as an unfortunate ‘knee-jerk reaction’.
The duo, who will on Tuesday hold talks with Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi, described termed New Delhi’s decision to call off of the talks as "childish and undemocratic".
Geelani said, "The decision of the government of India is childish, doesn't hold importance; they shouldn't have done this. We have been visiting Pakistan embassy several times to hold talks. The decision to cancel foreign secretary-level talks is undemocratic."
The Hurriyat leader also made it clear that the separatist leaders will go ahead with their scheduled meeting with the Pakistan high commissioner.
"If they arrest or make an excuse of not letting us meet, then India is using its power," he added.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Separatists ke saath walk aur Bharat sarkar ke saath talk yeh dono saath sambav nahin hain (It is impossible for the Indian government to talk while the other side walks with separatists)."
NCP leader Tariq Anwar has also supported the government's decision to call off the talks.
"To call separatists for talks when foreign secretary level talks were already arranged was inappropriate. It is a fitting reply by the government of India."
The Indian government had on Monday cancelled foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan which were scheduled to be held on August 25 in Islamabad.
The government said that it was calling off the talks in the wake of Kashmiri separatist leaders being invited to the Pakistan high commission to hold talks with Basit.
With Agency Inputs