A day after India cancelled a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York later this month, Pakistan’s new Premier Imran Khan took to microblogging site Twitter to express his “disappointment” over the latest development. In his tweet, Khan called India’s response “arrogant and negative” to his call for resuming the dialogue process between the two nuclear-armed nations.
“Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture,” his tweet reads.
Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 22, 2018
Last evening, India had called off a scheduled meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York. In a strongly-worded statement, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that since the announcement of the meeting on Thursday, two ‘deeply disturbing developments had taken place that led to Islamabad’s evil agenda being exposed’.
The MEA said that the barbaric killing of a BSF jawan by Pakistan troops near international border in Jammu and Kashmir, abduction and brutal killing of three police officials in south Kashmir by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan Post glorifying terrorists confirm that “Islamabad will not mend its ways”.
Immediately after this, the Pakistan Foreign Office had issued a statement rejecting India’s charges and termed New Delhi’s decision ‘deeply disappointing’. “The government of Pakistan is deeply disappointed at the announcement made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi today (Friday) about the cancellation of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan, which was to be held on the sidelines of UNGA in New York,” the statement said.
“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,” it added.
The dialogue process between India and Pakistan was suspended in January 2016 after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad attacked the Indian Air Force station in Pathankot of Punjab. The Composite Dialogue Process between New Delhi and Islamabad had started in 1997, but it was put on hold immediately after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Several years later, when the BJP formed the government, it initiated a dialogue process and it was named 10-Point Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. But it was again suspended after the Pathankot terror attack.