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India calls off foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan, says Imran Khan govt 'completely exposed'

The government had announced the meeting yesterday, the first such high-level engagement since suspension of dialogue between the two nations after the Pathankot air base terror attack in 2016.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: September 22, 2018 0:01 IST ]

MEA Spokesperson

Amid prevailing tensions with Pakistan, India on Friday called off the meeting between foreign ministers of both the nations on sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

The government had announced the meeting yesterday, the first such high-level engagement since suspension of dialogue between the two nations after the Pathankot air base terror attack in 2016.

"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," MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement today. 

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," he said. 

Kumar said 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.

"Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless. In view of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York," he concluded. 

 

The government had announced the meeting yesterday, the first such high-level engagement since suspension of dialogue between the two nations after the Pathankot air base terror attack in 2016.

Announcing the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday had made it clear it was not a resumption of the Indo-Pak dialogue and India agreed to the meeting following a request from Pakistan. He also insisted the decision doesn't change the country's position on cross-border terrorism. 

Indo-Pak ties have nose-dived since then in view of a number of terror strikes by Pakistan-based groups, which India retaliated by carrying out 'surgical strikes' in September 2016 across the LoC. India has been maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.

The last meeting between the two foreign ministers was held during Swaraj's visit to Islamabad in December 2015 to attend the Heart of Asia Summit, where she had met he then Pakistan foreign minister Sartaj Aziz. 

After the meeting, the two sides had announced resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue under the comprehensive bilateral format, but the initiative did not take off after Pakistan-based terror groups attacked the Pathankot air base.

India has been maintaining that there cannot be any comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan till it stops cross-border terrorism. 

WATCH FULL VIDEO: India calls off FM-level talks with Pakistan

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