Pakistani PM Khan decries 'arrogant' India for cancelling talks

Geneva Stokes
September 22, 2018

India and Pakistan will hold a meeting of their foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this month, the external affairs ministry said, indicating that New Delhi is open to improving ties under a new leadership in Islamabad.

The Modi government, which is facing the Congress-led opposition's charge of double standards on Pakistan, Friday evening called off foreign minister-level talks in NY next week, citing the "brutal killings" of Indian security personnel and the release of 20 postage stamps "glorifying a terrorist".

India did not specify which killings it was referring to in its statement, but earlier this week, an Indian border guard in the disputed territory of Kashmir was killed and his body mutilated.

Three policemen were abducted from their homes in south Kashmir's Shopian district and shot dead in cold blood by the Hizbul Mujahideen on Friday.

When the government of India talks about policy on Pakistan, it sounds like an oxymoron, a contradiction. In fact, it is learnt through sources in Pakistan that the 20 stamps showing "glorifying" Kashmiri militants were released by Pakistan Post on July 12 and were discontinued on July 19 which was before Prime Minister Imran Khan took office.

The meeting was scheduled to take place in NY later this month on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session.

The information minister took to Twitter on Saturday to denounce the Indian government after New Delhi pulled out of a planned foreign minister-level meeting in NY and issued an undiplomatic statement resorting to personal attacks against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistan also accused India of "Falsely raising the canard of terrorism".

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He had said that it was important to sit and talk for the sake of peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, in a statement releaed on Friday, said the government was "deeply disappointed" at the decision and called the reasons cited by India "entirely unconvincing".

However, Qureshi expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the foreign minister-level talks, saying it was "unfortunate".

Elections were near in India and anti-Pakistan slogans sell in India, he remarked.

The meeting of the foreign ministers would also be taking place after Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that Indian army, just like their Pakistani counterparts, was also quietly "cutting off" heads of Pakistani soldiers.

The army's media wing spokesperson said that the country's desire for peace shouldn't be perceived as its weakness, adding that the Army won't let peace be derailed.

India retaliated by carrying out "surgical strikes" in September 2016 across the Line of Control (LoC).

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