NEW DELHI: Within a day after confirming to it, the government on Friday called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York saying true face of Pak PM Imran Khan has exposed.
The brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps "glorifying" Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani were cited as the main reasons behind the strategic move.
Referring to the incidents, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that it has exposed the "true face" of Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan to the world as well as Islamabad's evil agenda behind the proposal for talks.
The government on Thursday accepted Khan's request for a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Since y'day's announcement of meeting of foreign ministers of India & Pakistan, 2 deeply disturbing developments took place. Latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan entities & recent release of series of 20 postal stamps by Pakistan glorifying terrorists: MEA pic.twitter.com/5rTVKmOxEn
— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2018
“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 said adding that both the "deeply disturbing" developments took place after Thursday’s announcement by India to accept Pakistan's proposal for the meeting.
Reacting to the development, Foreign Minister Qureshi said its appeared India is “already preparing for its elections due in the country next year”. Qureshi was quoted by Dawn as saying that it seems that “India has priorities other than dialogue, adding there is a group in the New Delhi that doesn’t want talks to take place”.
The opposition Congress took on the government on its Pakistan policy after the killings. “On September 19, 2018, USA clearly stated that Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba are main contributors to terror, they are linked to Al-Qaeda," said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. He also said that the government has betrayed each and every part of Jammu and Kashmir. The mutilations are unspeakable horror," he added.
Three policemen were abducted from their homes in south Kashmir's Shopian district and shot dead in cold blood by the Hizbul Mujahideen Friday. Following the incident, opposition parties criticised the government and asked it to explain the rationale behind accepting such a meeting when Pakistan-based terror outfits are killing Indian security personnel along the border in J&K.
Kumar said India's decision to agree to Pakistan's proposal for the meeting was in response to the spirit reflected in separate letters from Khan and Qureshi. "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. Now, it is obvious that behind Pakistan's proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office," he said.
The MEA spokesperson said any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be "meaningless". "In view of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York," he said.
The meeting between Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York was scheduled after PM Khan proposed a meeting between the two ministers in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The last formal engagement between the Foreign Ministers took place in December 2015 in Islamabad, which was followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden visit to Lahore.