India Calls Off Meeting With Pakistan Foreign Minister in New York
A day after India accepted Pakistan’s proposal for talks, it turned it down.
On Friday, 21 September, India announced its decision to call off the meeting between External Affairs Minister and Pakistan Foreign Minister that was scheduled to take place in New York later this month on the sidelines of the UNGA.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the decision to turn down Pakistan’s offer was taken in the wake of “two deeply disturbing developments”.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also said that "the true face of Imran Khan has been exposed in his first few months in office."
Responding to India’s decision, the government of Pakistan said:
“The Government of Pakistan is deeply disappointed at the announcement made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi today (21 September) 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.”
Earlier, on 20 September, Raveesh Kumar had announced that India had agreed to a meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Pakistan's request. He, however, had made it clear that it was not the resumption of the Indo-Pak dialogue.
The MEA spokesperson had spoken about the latest incident along the International Border with Pakistan where a BSF soldier was found with his throat slit as “barbaric”, following which, the details of Imran Khan’s letter to Narendra Modi emerged.
The newly-elected Prime Minister of Pakistan had written a letter on 14 September, seeking to re-establish bilateral talks on issues challenging the relationship between the two neighbours.
US Had Hailed India’s Acceptance for Meeting as “Terrific”
According to PTI, the United States had hailed India's acceptance of the the proposal for talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the ongoing annual UN General Assembly session in New York.
Nauert also welcomed the exchange of messages between Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"We saw the reports about the positive messages being exchanged between Prime Minister Khan and also Prime Minister Modi. And we hope that the conditions will be set for a good strong relationship, a good strong bilateral relationship in the future," she said the United States has traditionally welcomed any talks between India and Pakistan, the pace of which, it has noted, depends on the leadership of the two countries.
I Endorse Constructive Engagement Like You: Khan Wrote to Modi
In his letter to PM Modi, Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan wrote that he endorsed PM Modi’s sentiment that the only way forward for our two countries lies in “constructive engagement.”
...It was in this spirit that Pakistan’s Minister of Law & Information attended the funeral of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi. Mr Vajpayee contributed in trying to bring a positive change in our bilateral relations and was also a major proponent of a strong SAARC for building bridges and developing ties.Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan
In the same letter, he had proposed the high-level meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, which now stands rejected.
Khan had also shown a willingness to discuss the issue of terrorism and come to “mutually beneficial” outcomes on outstanding territorial issues like Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, and Sir Creek.