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Imran Khan expressed his disappointment at arrogant and negative response by India

23 September, 2018

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday expressed his disappointment at the ‘arrogant and negative response’ by India over his call for resumption of peace dialogue between the two countries.

“Throughout my life, I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said the government of Pakistan was deeply disappointed at the announcement made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi about the cancellation of the meeting of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, which was to be held on the sidelines of the United Nation General Assembly in New York. The reasons cited by the Indian side for the decision to cancel the foreign ministers meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation were entirely unconvincing, it said. “The development is an emblem of how India has once again squandered an opportunity to reset ties between two neighbours,” it said. “A joint investigation team can probe the Indian claims,” it added.

The Foreign Office said Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first public comments after his electoral success had outlined a forward-looking vision of Pakistan-India relations. “In the same spirit, Prime Minister Imran Khan in his reply letter endorsed Prime Minister Modi’s call for constructive engagement and proposed the meeting of the two foreign ministers in New York to discuss a way forward on bilateral and SAARC-related matters,” it said.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had written a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and called for resumption of dialogue between the two countries, also proposing a meeting between the foreign ministers of two countries on the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA session.

Hours after reports surfaced regarding PM Imran’s letter to Modi, Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Sushma Swaraj would meet on the sidelines of the UNGA. However, on Friday, the Indian MEA spokesperson announced the cancellation of the meeting, citing the alleged killing of three Indian police officers and a personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) as the reason.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also expressed disappointment at India’s backtracking and said New Delhi called off the planned meeting due to an incident which took place in July. “India in September presented an issue which took place in July as an excuse to back out of the meeting,” he said while speaking to media in Doha en route to New York. “I think this is not appropriate,” he said. “Postage stamps were also used as an excuse although the stamps in question were distributed before the PTI-led government took charge,” he added.

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