ISLAMABAD: The feeling of ecstasy and euphoria generated momentarily by Pakistani and Indian officials — with regard to a possible meeting between their foreign ministers in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s session — has vanished.
Hopes of a resumption of talks between the two countries have once again faded away.
Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday expressed his disappointment over the “negative” response of the Indian government in return to his offer for peace negotiations.
India on Friday called off the talks, blaming Pakistan for the killings of security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, and accusing the neighbouring country of glorifying terrorism.
In his Twitter message, Imran said he was “disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”
Earlier, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while on his way to New York termed the Indian government’s decision of cancelling the proposed meeting with his Indian counterpart as unfortunate. In a recorded statement, Qureshi said dialogue was the only way to resolve all outstanding issues.
Pakistan wants peaceful relations with neighbours and therefore Imran had extended the talks offer to his Indian counterpart in the interest of peace but “India had once again demonstrated its hesitation from talk and failed to get out of politics,” Qureshi said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office also expressed its disappointment over the Indian decision.
“The Indian government has fabricated an excuse only to cancel the meeting,” said a Foreign Office spokesperson in a statement.
“The government of Pakistan is deeply disappointed at the announcement made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi on Friday about the cancellation of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan, which was to be held on the sidelines of UNGA in New York,” said a statement issued by Foreign Office of Pakistan.
It said the reasons cited by the Indian side for the decision to cancel the meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation, were “entirely unconvincing.”
“The so-called ‘disturbing developments’ alluded to in the Indian statement predated the Indian agreement to hold the bilateral meeting in New York,” it further said.
Clarifying its position on the matter, the Foreign Office of Pakistan said the alleged killing of a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier took place two days before the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting. “When the allegations of Pakistan’s involvement first appeared, the Pakistan Rangers clearly conveyed to BSF through official channels that Pakistan had nothing to do with it,” the Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.
According to the statement, Pakistan Rangers also extended help in efforts to locate the soldier’s body.
“Pakistan takes this opportunity to categorically reject these allegations once again. Our authorities would be prepared to conduct a joint investigation to establish the truth,” officials said.