Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Pakistan to unequivocally support Kashmir cause in UNGA session: FM

Pakistan to unequivocally support Kashmir cause in UNGA session: FM

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Friday expressed disappointment at India calling off a meeting between him and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in NY and alleged that "internal pressure" forced New Delhi to make the "unfortunate" move.

India and Pakistan will hold a meeting of their foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this month, the external affairs ministry said, indicating that New Delhi is open to improving ties under a new leadership in Islamabad.

On Thursday, the ministry announced Swaraj would meet Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

New Delhi had agreed to the talks on PM Imran Khan's request to Indian PM Modi but stressed that this did not mean a resumption of dialogue between the neighbours. "In India, there is a government which finds it electorally useful to keep on attacking Pakistan on the issue of terrorism", said Joshi.

"We have decided that the meeting at the sidelines of the UNGA will take place". There is no indication as yet whether Qureshi will host a reception for foreign ministers attending UNGA which in the past saw an Indian foreign minister attending one hosted by his Pakistani counterpart.

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To tamp down on any domestic criticism and avoid hype, the Indian side repeatedly claimed that this was only a "meeting".

The Modi government has insisted that Pakistan act against anti-India Islamist militant groups that operate from its soil before it can resume peace talks to resolve long standing differences over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and other disputes. The body of head constable Narender Kumar was found in a mutilated state in Ramgarh sector.

"I really can't say much on this matter except to say that the External Affairs Minister's schedules are being prepared.So we are not in a position to comment on any individual meeting she may or may not have", the source said.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said, "Has our BJP government made a decision to accept my advice not to talk or interact with Pak UN?"

He added that under the present circumstances, meeting between the two officials will be "meaningless".

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Yet the quick exchanges, sometimes indirect, between the two prime ministers since Imran's July 25 election victory suggest a seriousness not seen since president Pervez Musharraf and prime minister Manmohan Singh tried to tackle core issues in 2006-7.

BJP spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri said it has been the central government's stand that talks and terror can not go together.

"It is laughable to talk of government's Pakistan policy".

New Delhi had already rejected Pakistan's proposal for holding a Saarc Summit in Islamabad.

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