Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood was on Wednesday summoned by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in connection with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Mahmood was conveyed that Pakistan Foreign Minister’s action was a brazen attempt to subvert India’s unity and to violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the External Affairs Ministry said.

“The High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned by the Foreign Secretary tonight in connection with the telephone conversation initiated by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference,” the MEA said.

It further said the “Foreign Secretary conveyed the Government of India’s condemnation in the strongest terms of this latest brazen attempt by Pakistan to subvert India’s unity and to violate our sovereignty and territorial integrity, by none other than the Pakistan Foreign Minister.”

Within hours after Qureshi spoke to him over the phone in Srinagar about Pakistan observing Kashmir Day against India on February 5, separatist leader Mirwaiz on Wednesday said that India has to move beyond the status-quo and reach out to both Pakistan’s offer of talks and to Kashmiris.

This is for the first time that a Pakistani minister of the Imran Khan government has directly talked to a Hurriyat leader in Kashmir, while the previous regimes in Pakistan and their New Delhi based High Commissioners had been hobnobbing with the Kashmiri separatists in a bid to instigate them against India.

Mirwaiz, in a meeting at the Hurriyat office at Srinagar, said, “Kashmir dispute is a reality and so is the fact that all three parties have to be involved in its lasting resolution. No amount of denial can change either. GOI (Government of India) has to move beyond status quo and reach out to both Pakistan’s offer of talks and to Kashmiri’s plight”.

“We want a peaceful resolution to the Jammu and Kashmir issue and Pakistan is also willing to resolve it through peaceful dialogue,” Mirwaiz added.

“Kashmiris are upset because of the aggressive policies adopted by the Central government of India. They are responsible for pushing the Kashmiri youth towards militancy,” he further said.

Pakistan, every year, observes Kashmir Day on February 5 to protest against what it terms the “failure of India to resolve the Kashmir issue and the alleged human rights violations”.

(With PTI inputs)