New Delhi: India’s reluctance to hold talks with Pakistan will not stop Islamabad from closing doors on its efforts to promote peace, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, days after New Delhi cancelled the foreign minister-level meeting.
The foreign minister also alleged that Swaraj’s “language and tone was unbecoming of a foreign minister”, the report said.
Addressing a press meet at the Pakistan Embassy on Sunday, Qureshi said India used incidents that happened in July to cancel peace talks that it agreed to in September.
India cited the release of postal stamps by Pakistan “glorifying” slain Kashmiri militant commander Burhan Wani as one of the two reasons for cancelling of ministerial-level talks, Qureshi said, “hundreds of thousands of people are fighting in Kashmir, not all of them are terrorists.”
The foreign minister said he was unable to understand India’s refusal to participate in peace talks with Pakistan. “Engagement, no-engagement. Coming, not coming. We desired talks as we believe the sensible way is to meet and talk. They agreed, and then disagreed,” he said.
Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 22, 2018
Qureshi said India’s response to Pakistan’s peace offer was harsh and non-diplomatic. “We did not use a non-diplomatic language in our rejoinder. Our response was matured and measured. They adopted a new approach, and moved back,” he said.
The foreign minister also reiterated Pakistan’s offer to open the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor for allowing Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the historic gurdwara on the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.
India initially agreed to a meeting between Swaraj and Qureshi, but later said it would be “meaningless” to hold talks after the “two deeply disturbing” developments.
Ties between India and Pakistan nosedived following a spate of terror attacks on Indian military bases by Pakistan-based terror groups since January 2016.
Following the strikes, India announced it will not engage in talks with Pakistan, saying terror and talks cannot go hand-in-hand.
By Manasi Chandu