K cops' murder fallout: India calls off meeting with Pakistan

India-Pakistan Foreign Ministers To Meet In New York After Imran Khan Request

India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during the United Nations General Assembly in NY but "this is just a meeting, not talks or resumption of dialogue", the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated on Thursday.

"Even now after so many years, we don't have any official communication from Pakistani government that they are willing to consider this matter", Minister of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

On Thursday, Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan requested the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan to hold a bilateral meeting in New York City.

In the letter, Imran Khan has called for a meeting between foreign ministers of both the countries on sidelines of the UNGA in NY, which is to be held later this month.

To a question pointing out to the incongruity of holding talks when ministers have made belligerent statements, Kumar said that he could not comment on the remarks made by the defence minister.

It came after Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi calling for a resumption of talks between the nuclear-armed foes.

India's foreign ministry, however, said the NY meeting between Swaraj and Qureshi did not represent a shift in New Delhi's relations with Islamabad.

He said both the "deeply disturbing" developments took place after yesterday's announcement by India to accept Pakistan's proposal for the meeting.

Pakistan recently issued postage stamps of Burhan Wani, a charismatic Kashmiri militant commander killed by Indian troops in July 2016, whose death sparked a wave of violent protests in India.

Khan said Pakistan remained ready to discuss terrorism, and that "discussions on trade, people-to-people contacts, religious tourism [and] humanitarian issues are also important". The death of the Indian border guard on Wednesday in Jammu provoked outrage, with India accusing Pakistani forces of mutilating his corpse.

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi blamed Indian politics.

The Express Tribune quoted Qureshi as saying that India has not responded positively to Pakistan's invitation for dialogue.

The India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years following a spate of terror attacks in India by Pakistan-based terror groups.

Asked about the decision to call off the talks, senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi told a press briefing, "Better late than never".

"Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless ..."



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