NEW DELHI -- In another blow to the "breakthrough" India-Pakistan bilateral talks on Friday, it has emerged that the Pakistan High Commission has invited separatist leaders in Kashmir to celebrate Eid in Delhi on July 21.
On Monday, the Pakistan High Commission told NDTV that there is "nothing unusual about the invite."
Pakistan High Commission invites Hurriyat leaders for Eid on July 21, says 'nothing unusual about the invite'— NDTV (@ndtv) July 13, 2015
Citing a senior diplomat inside the Pakistan High Commission, Times Now reported that an invite for Eid Milan had been extended to prominent separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Shabir Ahmed Shah.
The invitation is especially provocative since the Modi government called off talks between the Foreign Secretaries of both countries after Pakistan's envoy Abdul Basit held meetings with Kashmiri separatists in Delhi, last August.
An invitation for iftar was originally extended by the Pakistan High Commission for July 3, but it was reportedly canceled in view of the the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif set for July 10 in Ufa, Russia.
Aiyaz Akbar, Hurriyat Conference spokesperson, told HuffPost India on Monday that a formal invitation had not yet been received by the separatist organisation. Akbar said that they had been invited for iftar on July 3, but the meeting was canceled due to deaths from the heatwave in Karachi.