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Imran Khan calls cancellation of India-Pakistan talks 'arrogant and negative response' by New Delhi

Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday reacted to India calling off the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York, calling it an "arrogant and negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue."

Khan also said he had often come across "small men occupying big offices".

Citing the "brutal" killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the release of postal stamps glorifying Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a press conference on Friday announced that the meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had been called off.

"The latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism confirm that Pakistan will not mend its ways," Kumar had said.

File image of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. AP

File image of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. AP

He had noted that "two deeply disturbing developments have taken place" since the announcement of a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York later this month.

"In view of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York," he had said.

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had on Friday also expressed disappointment at India calling off the meeting.

"It is unfortunate that India has not given a positive response. India has once again wasted an opportunity for peace," Qureshi had told the media.

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

"The refusal of India shows that the Indian government is facing internal pressure," he had said.

"It seems that India is already preparing for its elections due in the country next year," Qureshi was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

He had said Pakistan sincerely wants resolution of all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, with India through negotiations.

Pakistan has always extended an olive branch to India for the resolution of problems and enhancing bilateral ties in an amicable manner, but New Delhi does not come out of its "internal politics", state-run Radio Pakistan had quoted him as saying.

The minister had said Pakistan can only wish that India comes to the negotiating table, but "we can neither pressurise anybody nor will accept the same for this purpose."

Qureshi had said the world wants connectivity and promote regional trade, but India is creating problems.

He had said India's "stubbornness" is also adversely affecting the future of the SAARC countries, the Radio Pakistan report said.

But Qureshi had reiterated that dialogue is the only way to come to the resolution of any issue. "We said that we want dialogue – but in a dignified manner," he had added.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office (FO) in a statement had remarked that the reasons cited by India for calling off the talks "within 24 hours of its public confirmation are entirely unconvincing".

"The so-called 'disturbing developments' alluded to in the Indian statement predated the Indian agreement to hold the bilateral meeting in New York," Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal had said in the statement.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Sep 22, 2018 15:53 PM

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