Less than 24 hours after confirming that Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be meeting her counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, India on Friday called off the talks.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar cited today’s abduction and killing of three J&K policemen and the recent release of postal stamps glorifying slain Kashmir militant commander Burhan Wani as the reason behind calling off the talks.
The true face of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been exposed, said the MEA.
Briefing the press, Raveesh Kumar said: “It’s obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of new Prime Minister of Pakistan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in the office.”
He said that two disturbing events had taken place since the announcement of fresh talks between the two countries. “Since yesterday’s announcement of meeting of foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, two deeply disturbing developments took place. Latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan entities and the recent release of series of 20 postal stamps by Pakistan glorifying terrorists has confirmed that Pakistan has not mended its ways…”
Earlier, India had accepted Pakistan PM Khan’s proposal for a meeting between the two ministers in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan had written to PM Narendra Modi Modi asking that India and Pakistan resume dialogue that has been suspended since 2015. Khan had proposed a meeting between the foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UNGA meeting as he batted for the two sides to resume the comprehensive dialogue to discuss all contentious issues.
Significantly, Khan wrote: “Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism.”
While endorsing Modi’s suggestion for “constructive engagement”, Khan acknowledged that the two countries have “an undeniably challenging relationship”. The two sides, he added, should peacefully resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, to bridge differences.
Khan suggested Swaraj and Qureshi could “explore the way forward”, including the holding of the stalled Saarc Summit, which would “offer an opportunity for (Modi) to visit Pakistan and for us to restart the stalled dialogue process”.