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India cancels meeting with Pakistan in New York

ISLAMABAD: India has unilaterally cancelled the meeting slated to be held between foreign ministers of Pakistan and India on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month, ARY News reported.

Indian External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar just a day earlier confirmed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York on September 27.

However, on Friday the same spokesperson announced to call off the meeting alleging “unclean intentions on Pakistani side”.

Raveesh Kumar said that the initiative had been taken over the killing of three policemen in occupied Kashmir as well as the release of postal stamps glorifying Kashmiri Mujahid Burhan Wani.

He said talks with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had written to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi calling for a resumption of talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Read More: Pakistan to unequivocally support Kashmir cause in UNGA session: FM

High-level talks between India and Pakistan are rare. Media described the planned meeting as the first in nearly three years.

Qureshi told ARY News that he was surprised and disappointed over the latest development.

“We had given a positive signal and India too had hinted about negotiations,” he said.

“India has once again shown that it cares more about its own politics than regional peace and stability,” he added.

The FM said it appeared as if the Modi government was preparing for the next elections and the Indian politicians were ostensibly divided over the issue of holding talks with Pakistan.

He said just like Pakistan, India also on many occasions signalled for talk. He said there were several evidences which indicated of interference in peace talks.

Asked if Pakistan will approach India again for negotiations, he said: “No, we wanted negotiations in a dignified way.”

Qureshi said he wanted to avoid getting involved in levelling allegations for the sake of regional peace at this point.

Earlier in 2015, high-level negotiations between the neighbouring countries were cancelled hours before they were about to start.

Pakistan felt India’s preconditions for limiting talks as repugnant. It said such talks would be futile to resolve broad range of issues.

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