Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

No meeting between foreign ministers in New York, India tells Pakistan

No meeting between foreign ministers in New York, India tells Pakistan

India cancelled on Friday, September 21, a rare meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart scheduled to have taken place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, only a day after announcing it would take place.

But it is obvious, Kumar said, that behind Pakistan's proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, there was an evil agenda.

"Since yesterday's announcement of a meeting of foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, two deeply disturbing developments have taken place".

Following a letter from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the resumption of dialogue, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday confirmed a meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in NY next week. Accepting the proposal for the meeting, India had, however, made it clear that it was not a resumption of dialogue and the decision doesn't change the country's position on cross-border terrorism.

In a letter to PM Modi, Pakistan PM Imran Khan has said the only way forward for the two countries is through "constructive engagement".

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Barely 24 hours after India agreed to talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY next week, the government has reversed its position, saying a meeting between top diplomats in the current environment would be futile.

The overture comes at a time when the Indian side is seething over the brutal murder of BSF Head Constable Narendra Kumar along the International Border. "The letter from the Prime Minister of Pakistan had spoken of, inter alia, bringing a positive change and mutual desire for peace as also readiness to discuss terrorism".

Pakistan denies aiding and abetting attacks in India including in Kashmir and says it is fighting militant groups for its own security.

"It seems Indian politics is divided and preparing for next elections", Qureshi added. India has maintained that talks and terror do not go hand in hand. The death of the Indian border guard on Wednesday in Jammu provoked outrage, with India accusing Pakistani forces of mutilating his corpse. "Other countries have also felt that it is diffuclt to attend the SAARC summit which is to be hosted by Pakistan", he said. "We are also ready to talk about the issue of terrorism, which is a global phenomenon, and calls for global and concerted action", he maintained. 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.

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