India today summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood over Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's telephonic conversation with Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The conversation, ahead of the coming national elections, was a "brazen attempt to subvert India's unity and to violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity," the External Affairs Ministry said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he wants to improve relations with India, but New Delhi has insisted that any meaningful talks cannot take place until Islamabad makes an effort to stop cross-border terror.
In a statement, the foreign ministry today said Pakistan's "deplorable act has violated all norms for the conduct of international relations even by Pakistan's own standards".
"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 ministry said.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had "underscored that by this action Pakistan has confirmed yet again that it officially abets and encourages individuals associated with terrorism and anti-India activities," New Delhi said.
"It has exposed to the entire international community Pakistan's duplicity in professing their desire for normal relations with India on the one hand, while openly inciting anti-India activities on the other," the statement read.
Career diplomat Sohail Mahmood had replaced Abdul Basit as Pakistan's High Commissioner to India in 2017.
His predecessor Abdul Basit had sparked a row after engaging directly with the separatists in 2014. Calling the meeting "unacceptable", India had cancelled the foreign secretary level talks.
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