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Central government realized mistake of calling off talks with Pakistan: Omar

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Srinagar, May 2 (IANS) Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the central government had "thankfully realized its mistake of calling off talks with Pakistan on the issue of separatist leaders meeting the Pakistan high commissioner".

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a National Conference (NC) function here, Omar said: "We had said that time that it was a mistake to call off talks with Pakistan.

"Thankfully, they (central government) have realized the mistake now."

Omar was referring to Minister of State External Affairs V.K. Singh’s written reply in the Parliament on the issue.

In a reply in parliament, Singh said, "Since the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India and these so-called Kashmiri ‘leaders’ are Indian citizens, there is no bar on their meetings with representatives of any country in India."

One of the reasons for which the dialogue process between New Delhi and Islamabad was halted by the central government was the invitation and subsequent meetings of local separatist leaders with the Pakistan high commissioner in Delhi just ahead of bilateral official talks.

The NC working president also alleged the state government headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti "is without any vision and direction. You cannot see this government on the ground as it does not exist there."

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