Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

New Delhi cancels Pak-India foreign ministers meet in NY

New Delhi cancels Pak-India foreign ministers meet in NY

India cites killings of its security personnel and release of 20 postage stamps "glorifying a terrorist" as reasons for cancelling talks.

On Thursday, the MEA spokesman had confirmed that Qureshi and Swaraj will meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in NY later this month.

Doubts began to be raised yesterday about the talks when the brutal killing of a Border Security Force (BSF) came to light at the worldwide border.

The United States Friday hailed India's acceptance of Pakistani proposal for talks between the foreign ministers on the sidelines of the ongoing annual UN General Assembly session in NY and termed it as a "terrific news".

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier proposed a meeting between Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, on the sidelines of the UNGA in NY this month.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan assured that Pakistan would continue to extend its moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir in their struggle for right to self-determination.

India, however, had made it clear that it was not the resumption of the Indo-Pak dialogue. Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan said that they are awaiting a formal response from India.

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Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said India has "priorities other than dialogue" and alleged that there is a group in New Delhi that does not want talks to happen, after New Delhi called off a meeting between him and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in NY, according to a media report.

Pakistan and India have an "undeniably challenging relationship", he said, while responding to Modi's letter to him on August 18.

In fact, India and Pakistan has not had any substantial dialogue since 2012.

India has long accused Pakistan of arming rebel groups in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both.

Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesman Raveesh Kumar confirmed the cancellation of the meeting. He added that the refusal shows India's government is "facing internal pressures" and that it's already preparing for elections next year. "We will take it up with Pakistan in an appropriate manner", said the external affairs ministry spokesperson. One of the issues that will come up during the discussions is India's demand for Pakistan to open up the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor for Sikh pilgrims from the Indian state of Punjab.

Earlier, Pakistan PM wrote a letter to PM Modi, seeking to re-start the talks on key issues including Kashmir.

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