India’s calling off meeting “unfortunate”: Pak FM Qureshi
Islamabad, Sep 21: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Friday expressed disappointment at India calling off a meeting between him and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New York and alleged that “internal pressure” forced New Delhi to make the “unfortunate” move.
India cited the “brutal” killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the release of postal stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani for cancelling the meeting between Swaraj and Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month.
Qureshi expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the foreign minister-level talks, saying it was “unfortunate.”
“It is unfortunate that India has not given a positive response. India has once again wasted an opportunity for peace,” Qureshi told the media here.
He said that it was important to sit and talk for the sake of peace and stability in the region.
“The refusal of India shows that Indian government is facing internal pressure,” he said.
“It seems that India is already preparing for its elections due in the country next year,” Qureshi was quoted as saying by the ‘Express Tribune’.
He said 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.
He went on to say that if India doesn’t want dialogue, then Pakistan also won’t be in haste either.
But, Qureshi reiterated that dialogue is the only way to come to the resolution of any issue, the report said.
He said the world should see that “Pakistan has held a positive outlook towards the situation while India’s attitude has not been so forthcoming”.
“We said that we want dialogue – but in a dignified manner,” he added.
Former High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit said he was surprised by India’s move as New Delhi should not have agreed for it in the first place due to forthcoming elections but after agreeing for a meeting it was more surprising that it backed out.
Former advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said that it was “unfortunate” that India cancelled the meeting as it would have created an environment for peace.
Former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri said the cancelation reminded him of the Agra summit when everything was ready for joint statement but India backed out at the last minute.