India’s reasons to call off Foreign Ministers’ meet in New York ‘unconvincing’, says Pakistan

By: | Updated: September 22, 2018 10:17 AM

Pakistan has termed 'unconvincing' the reasons cited by India for its decision to call off the proposed meeting scheduled between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York later this month, Dawn reported.

Imran Khan, Pakistan, Pakistan terrorism, Pakistan Foreign Office, Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Ministers meetingPakistan terms ‘unconvincing’ India’s reasons to call of Foreign Ministers meeting in New York

Pakistan has termed ‘unconvincing’ the reasons cited by India for its decision to call off the proposed meeting scheduled between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York later this month, Dawn reported. In a statement issued last evening, the Foreign Office said that Islamabad was “deeply disappointed” at the announcement to cancel the meeting and sought to blame New Delhi for “once again wasting an opportunity to change the dynamics of the bilateral relationship” between the two nuclear-armed neighbouring nations.

“The reasons cited by the Indian side for the decision to cancel the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation, are entirely unconvincing,” reads the statement. “The so-called ‘disturbing developments’ alluded to in the Indian statement predated the Indian agreement to hold the bilateral meeting in New York.”

India on Thursday cancelled the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two sides – Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The decision was taken hours after three bodies of kidnapped police officials were found with bullet injuries in south Kashmir. India also cited the barbaric killing of BSF jawan Narendra Singh near the international border in Jammu and Kashmir by the Pakistan troops and release of 20 postal stamps by the Pakistan Post department in honour of terrorists killed by Indian security forces in Kashmir.

The Pakistan FO on its part denied the involvement of Pakistani troops in the killing of a BSF jawan. It noted that the “alleged killing of the BSF soldier took place two days prior to the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting”.

“When the allegations of Pakistan’s involvement first appeared, the Pakistan Rangers clearly conveyed to BSF through official channels that Pakistan had nothing to do with it. Pakistan Rangers also extended help in efforts to locate the soldier’s body,” the statement added.

Categorically rejecting the allegations, the FO statement said that Pakistan will “conduct a joint investigation to establish the truth”.

On the issuance of 20 special postage stamps by Pakistan Post on July 24, the FO clarified that the postage stamps were issued before the July 25 elections, following which Imran Khan assumed the PM’s office. It, however, said that the postal stamps highlight the “gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir”.

The statement said that Pakistan has “always desired peaceful and good-neighbourly relations with India”, on the basis of sovereign equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. “In our view, dialogue and diplomacy are the only constructive way forward for the two countries to address mutual concerns, rebuild trust, resolve longstanding disputes, and establish durable peace in South Asia.”

The decision to accept Pakistan’s request from a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two sides was taken after Premier Imran Khan wrote a letter to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi urging him to start the dialogue process. But the latest developments forced New Delhi to cancel the meeting, reiterating talks and terror can’t go together.

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