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India Warns Pakistan Against Meeting With Kashmiri Separatists


India said it urged Pakistan against meeting Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of rare high-level talks between the two countries.

India cancelled talks with Pakistan last year, outraged over a similar meeting with separatists, in a move that set back already tense relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

India's foreign ministry said August 21 that it would be "inappropriate" for Pakistan National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz to meet with the separatists August 23 in New Delhi, just before scheduled talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.

"Such a meeting would not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Ufa understanding to jointly work to combat terrorism," said ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during a visit to the Russian city of Ufa last month, signalling a tentative thaw in ties between the countries.

Meanwhile, some separatist leaders travelling to New Delhi were briefly detained in Srinagar and then released a few hours later.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, one of those detained, said the Indian government was "confused." He said the aim of their visit was "supporting the India and Pakistan dialogue."

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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