India calls off talks with Pakistan at UNGA


The calling off, sources said, was in line with India's policy that terror and talks could not go together. Mutual reservations could have been placed on the table. "PM Imran Khan's outstanding peace overture negated in their usual belligerent manner", the President tweeted.

The talks between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi were to take place on 26 September, a day before the SAARC foreign ministers' meeting.

It cited "the latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities" and the recent release of postage stamps by Pakistan which it said glorified "a terrorist and terrorism".

"Firstly, the alleged killing of BSF soldier took place two days prior to the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting".

He also said the agenda of the meeting had not yet been finalised.

"Even now after so many years, we don't have any official communication from Pakistani government that they are willing to consider this matter", Minister of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

India on Wednesday snubbed Pakistan for its inaction against cross border terrorism and said there will be no change in Indian position vis-a-vis South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation unless there is "an end" to cross border terror menace. The entire episode is reminiscent of August 2014 when the Modi government called off a meeting between the foreign secretaries because of then Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit's meeting with Hurriyat leaders just ahead of the engagement.

Asked if Pakistan will approach India again for negotiations, he said, "We said that we want dialogue but in a dignified way".

".The government of India's position as of now (on SAARC) is that unless there is reduction or end to the cross border terrorism, we see no goal of having a regional meeting", a government source said here.

"Pakistan has held a positive outlook towards the situation, while India's attitude has not been so forthcoming".

Kumar said India's decision to agree to Pakistan's proposal for the meeting was in response to the spirit reflected in separate letters from Khan and Qureshi.

"In view of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in NY", a statement issued by the Indian MEA had read.

He gave this assurance to President Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhary during a telephonic call to him.

Khan also suggest that the holding of the SAARC summit in Islamabad "will offer an opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to re-start the stalled dialogue process". "Other countries have also felt that it is diffuclt to attend the SAARC summit which is to be hosted by Pakistan", he said.