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Pakistan invites Hurriyat leaders for meeting ahead of talks with India

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SRINAGAR: Pakistan has invited Hurriyat leaders of Indian-held Kashmir for a meeting in a move to risk further straining attempts to restart peace talk ahead of a meeting between leading security personnel from the countries having nuclear-armed nations.

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India cancelled dialogue with Pakistan last year after its neighbour consulted the separatists before a meeting between their foreign secretaries.

At the time, India accused Pakistan of intervening in its domestic affairs.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani is among the leaders that Pakistan High Commission invited on August 23, the very day when the talks between the security officials are scheduled to start, said by a spokesperson for the separatists.

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“This is deliberate attempt to irritate India,” said S. Chandrasekharan, director of the South Asia Analysis Group in New Delhi.

A spokesperson for the Pakistani embassy, Manzoor Ali Memon, confirmed the invitation and refused to comment further.

Previously, Indian administration had reluctantly put up with meetings between Pakistan and Kashmir separatists, but PM Modi, elected last year, hinted that he would not.

Indian and Pakistani armed forces had been trading gunfire and morter rounds along side the Working Boundaries earlier this week, killing eight people.

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