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Pakistani Envoy Defends Meeting With Kashmiris


Pakistan's ambassador to India has defended his recent talks with Kashmiri separatists, saying the only way to find a lasting peace is to include them in the dialogue.

Ambassador Abdul Basit made the remarks in New Delhi on August 20, two days after India canceled a meeting of foreign secretaries scheduled for next week in Islamabad.

India said Basit undermined efforts to improve relations between New Delhi and Islamabad.

New Delhi had tolerated such meetings in the past, suggesting that India’s new government is taking a harder line over the disputed Kashmir region.

Two of India’s three wars with Pakistan since gaining independence from Britain in 1947 were over Kashmir.

Both countries control parts of the Himalayan region and claim it in its entirety.

The dispute is at the heart of lingering animosity between the two countries.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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