Indian backtracking of FM’s meeting under internal political pressure ahead of polls: Qureshi

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 21 (APP):Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi Friday said that the Indian decision to backtrack from the foreign ministers’ meeting in New York next week, just a day after its nod, looked to be the result of internal political pressure ahead of upcoming general polls.
Talking to a private news channel following the media reports on the Indian decision to cancel the foreign ministers’ meeting scheduled on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27, the foreign minister said there looked to be a divide inside India where one faction desired the resolution of issues through talks while the other opposes such engagement owing to political pressure.
He said Pakistan’s viewpoint was positive as the country had desired to focus on the betterment of the people as well as the region by improving its ties with India. Pakistan also wanted the reconciliation process in Afghanistan to move forward, he added.
The foreign minister said in his letter to Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Imran Khan had also called for constructive engagement with India and the Indian side had also announced the schedule of the foreign ministers’ meeting on September 27.
However, he said Pakistan could not be blamed as the meeting had been canceled owing to internal political pressure in India.
To a question, the minister said the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir was a reality that had also been evidenced by the UN Human Rights Commission. He said any deviation from this dispute would be tantamount to the deviation from the issues.
He said the leadership was supposed to face the tough situations rather resolve the issues without being frustrated over negative comments and articles.
However, the foreign minister said he would present Pakistan’s viewpoint to the world community on September 29 at the UNGA.
Responding to a query, the minister said Pakistan never blamed anyone for its internal situation rather successfully defeated terrorism consequent to its National Action Plan and efforts by the security agencies.
He said Pakistan had made a positive signaling and gave a positive response to Indian letter and the latter accepted the Pakistan’s offer of dignified talks.
“If India is not willing, we should also not show unnecessary haste,” the minister remarked.
He said the pressure tactics being used by India had been proving futile since decades without benefiting the people of the region where millions had been living below the poverty line.
He said the issues including Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen and water were serious issues requiring dialogue between the two countries.
He questioned India as whether there was any other way out besides the dialogue. He said the US Spokesperson had termed the scheduling of foreign ministers’ meeting as positive gesture but it was yet to see as how the world would comment on the cancellation.
Qureshi said India neither showed willingness for bilateral talks nor it accepted the involvement of any third party. However, Pakistan cannot make anyone sit on dialogue table by force, he remarked.
To a question about the Indian unwillingness to take part in SAARC Summit in Pakistan, the foreign minister said, not merely Pakistan, such Indian steps had been impacting all SAARC member states for halting the betterment of their people.