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Defending his meeting with separatists, Pak envoy says its a long-standing practice
Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit, in a press conference in at New Delhi stressed that his country was in favour of peace in the region. These remarks by the Pakistani High Commissioner to India came after India cancelled the August 25 meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries.

Basit emphasizes that there is a national consensus in Pakistan to have normal relations with India. He said, "If Pakistan and India work together and if SAARC is vitalised, I can assure you that sky is the limit."

He further talked about the peace dialogue, and said that, "There is no reason why we should lose hope on building a strong bilateral relationship."

When asked about his meeting with Kashmiri separatists, Basit said, "This has been a long standing practice, have nothing more to add to this. We believe that Kashmiris are legitimate stakeholders in the peace process," as reported by TOI.

Basit also claimed that India violated cease fire for 57 times in last one year!

Meanwhile, the envoy also informed that no meeting has been finalised between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York next month.

On Tuesday, Basit met Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and then moderate leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. After this, India called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan over the issue.

Geelani met the Pak envoy for two-and-half hours at the Pakistan high commission, and later Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Mohammad Yasin Malik and the Mirwaiz also met Basit.

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