Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

India, Pakistan call off foreign ministers' meet after Kashmir deaths

India, Pakistan call off foreign ministers' meet after Kashmir deaths

India blamed "Pakistan-based entities" for Friday's killing of three special police officers in Kashmir and called off the meeting in NY between Foreign Ministers.

Three policemen were then found dead on Friday after being abducted in Indian-administered Kashmir.

A Pakistani Ranger stands near the Pakistani flag and Indian flag (L) during a daily parade at the Pakistan-India joint check post at Wagah border, on the outskirts of Lahore February 26, 2010.

Holding talks under the circumstances was "meaningless", Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

He had noted that "two deeply disturbing developments have taken place" since the announcement of a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in NY later this month.

The Indian government said in a strongly-worded statement that since the announcement of the talks on Thursday, two "deeply disturbing" developments had taken place.

This will be first time that a "meeting" will be held between the foreign ministers of the two countries since Sushma Swaraj travelled to Pakistan for the "Heart of Asia" meeting in 2015.

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The Modi government, which is facing the Congress-led opposition's charge of double standards on Pakistan, Friday evening called off foreign minister-level talks in NY next week, citing the "brutal killings" of Indian security personnel and the release of 20 postage stamps "glorifying a terrorist".

In a statement from its foreign office, Pakistan said Friday it had "nothing to do with" the deaths, accusing India of spreading "motivated and malicious propaganda".

India said on Friday that it agreed for the NY meeting in response to the spirit reflected in the letters from Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as Qureshi. "The elections in India are near and it appears that internal politics have influenced the government".

India pulled the plug on a meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart set for next week on the sidelines of a major United Nations conference, just one day after saying it would go ahead.

He said it was inappropriate on India's part to state a development from July (the issuance of stamps) as the reason to cancel the meeting that was due to take place in September.

With India heading for national polls early next year, expectations from any bilateral talks are not high. Following the incident, opposition parties criticised the government and asked it to explain the rationale behind accepting such a meeting when Pakistan-based terror outfits are killing Indian security personnel along the border in J&K.

Qureshi told Pakistan's ARY TV channel that he was "surprised and disappointed".

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