Hurriyat visit: Pak denies breach of word

Himalayan News Service

Islamabad, June 22:

Pakistan has denied Indian allegations that it breached an “understanding” with India by permitting Hurriyat leaders to travel beyond Pakistani Kashmir, reports Online news agency.

Pakistan has not violated any agreement by allowing the Hurriyat leaders from Jammu and Kashmir to visit Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Jalil Abbas Jilani told BBC. He was reacting to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion yesterday that Islamabad did a wrong by allowing the Hurriyat leaders to journey to Islamabad, where they met Pakistani leaders, including President Pervez Musharraf.

Indian officials say passengers taking the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus should not travel beyond the Indian or Pakistani halves of Kashmir.

Manmohan Singh made the statement while responding to a letter from his predecessor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who raised the issue following the return of the Hurriyat delegation to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian prime minister said in a letter to Vajpayee that “Pakistan violated an understanding on these procedures that had been reached between India and Pakistan.”

The Pakistani spokesman described the trip by the Hurriyat leaders as a breakthrough.