NEW DELHI - Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah was arrested in New Delhi on Saturday upon his arrival ahead of a possible meeting with Pakistani advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz during that latter's impending visit.

According to Indian media, the police took Shah into custody along with party leaders, Abdullah Tari and Zamir Ahmed Sheikh, from the airport soon after their arrival and detained them at a guest house, soon after he arrived there to meet Sartaj Aziz in the Indian capital.

Earlier, talking to mediamen in Srinagar before leaving for New Delhi, Shah said that India and Pakistan talks must go on.

“The talks must go on to subside the pressure on both sides of the Line of Control,” he added. He brushed aside the furore over the meeting of Hurriyat leaders with Sartaj Aziz ahead of the National Security Advisor-level talks between Pakistan and India and said. “We have been meeting them (Pakistan leaders) since 25 years, even during the NDA and UPA rule.”

Talking over phone just before his arrest with a private news agency, Shah said the increasing popularity of the Kashmir liberation movement had frustrated the Indian government. Terming the arrest of resistance leadership in wake of scheduled Indo-Pak NSA level talks as attempt to derail the dialogue process, the Democratic Freedom Party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah said it exposed the insincerity and I'll intention of Indian political leadership "who want to turn the subcontinent into a battlefield."

"We were hopeful that India by allowing the resistance leadership to meet Pakistani NSA will exhibit political maturity but they placed the whole pro-freedom leadership under house arrest," Shah said.

He severely criticised the state rulers by terming them chameleons, "who change their colors in no time and stoop to lowest levels without any shame or regret in order to please their masters in Delhi." Commenting on "unpleasant" attitude on part of Indian government with regard to NSA level talks and its crackdown on resistance leadership of J&K, Shah said the mutual rivalry and creating war like situation is not a solution to any issue "which can only be resolved through a meaningful dialogue."

"If dialogue isn't option for New Delhi, we have no hesitation in saying that India considers war as only option. It's so unfortunate that violence obsessed India doesn't understand that it's the age of nuclear weapons and there's no winner," he said. Shah also termed the statement of Indian external affairs minister as "against the values and standards of diplomacy." "Such statements are nothing but to find a way out from dialogue process.”

On the other hand, the veteran Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Geelani, continues to remain under house arrest in Srinagar. The authorities have strengthened the deployment around his residence. Indian police have also arrested other Hurriyat leaders including Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Syed Bashir Andrabi and Mir Hafeezullah in Srinagar.