In a candid and crystal clear statement that Pakistan will “not mend its ways”, India on Friday dumped the talks offer by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and said the proposed meeting between the two Foreign Ministers stands cancelled.
“In view of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York,” MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said here referring to Pakistani side release of postage stamps glorifying a terrorism and terror menace and also on the attack on J&K police personnel.
“Since yesterday’s announcement of a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York later this month, two deeply disturbing developments have taken place. The latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of twenty postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism confirm that Pakistan will not mend its ways,” the statement said.
He said, “The decision to agree to Pakistan’s proposal for a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in New York later this month was in response to the spirit reflected in the letters from the new Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Pakistan. 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.”
The statement further said – “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”.
Therefore, the MEA statement said, “Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless”.
India had agreed to the meeting between Foreign Ministers after letters from Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi to his Indian counterpart and also Pak PM Imran Khan’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his missive to Mr Modi, new Pakistan Prime Minister and a former cricket icon Imran Khan in
his September 14 letter remained particularly firm about the possibility of meeting between the two Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of UN General Assembly meet in New York later this month.
“Would be better if the two countries’ foreign ministers (Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mahmood Qureshi) can meet on the sidelines of UNGA in order to initiate a formal dialogue process that has been pending for long,” Mr Imran Khan wrote in his letter.
Addressing his Indian counterpart as ‘Modi Sahab’, said he appreciates PM Modi’s stance that “the only way forward” for the two countries lies in constructive engagement.
Mr Khan also invoked the name of former Prime Minister Bihari Vajpayee and suggested there is a need for “bringing positive change” in the bilateral relationship.
To certain quarters, however, Pakistani regime’s stance is not quite surprising. A source in the BJP pointed out that there were “merits” when Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V K Singh had said recently that Imran Khan was only “propped” up the Pakistan army and it remained to be seen whether perceptible change really comes in that country vis-a-vis terrorism or not.