Kashmiri separatists criticise India-Pakistan joint statement

Srinagar, July 10: Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif agreed to cooperate to eliminate terrorism, separatist leaders here on Friday criticised them for ignoring the Kashmir issue.

Mainstream politicians in the Kashmir Valley, however, welcomed the Modi-Sharif initiative to carry forward the peace dialogue between the two neighbours.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed welcomed the initiative saying: “We warmly welcome the latest initiative taken by the prime minister of the country and his Pakistani counterpart to revive the peace process between the two neighbouring countries.”

“We see a ray of hope in the fresh initiative and hope that it would turn out to be a defining moment in India-Pakistan ties. The state government is looking forward to not only stabilisation of borders in J&K, but also to the revival and expansion of JK-specific confidence building measures.”

Separatist leaders were angry as the joint statement did not mention the Kashmir issue.

Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani criticised the joint statement, saying unless the dialogue between the two neighbouring countries focussed on the basic problem of Kashmir, it would neither be here nor there.

“This latest announcement is going to lead us nowhere. Unless the dialogue process aims at resolution of the basic problem of Kashmir, it would not move beyond a photo ops session between the leaders of the two countries,” Geelani said in a statement.

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