India calls off Swaraj-Qureshi talks in NY

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 21, 2018

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (file photo)   -  REUTERS

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi   -  REUTERS

New Delhi cites soldier’s killing, release of stamps glorifying terror

A day after agreeing to talks with Pakistan, India has called them off, citing the brutal killings of security personnel by entities based in the neighbouring country.

India also objected to Islamabad releasing 20 postage stamps “glorifying a terrorist”, and said it revealed Pakistan’s “evil agenda”.

On Thursday, India had agreed to a meeting in New York between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, later this month.

“Since Thursday’s announcement of a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York later this month, two deeply disturbing developments have taken place. The latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism confirm that Pakistan will not mend its ways,” according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs, circulated on Friday.

Political move?

Interestingly, the brutal killing of a BSF jawan in Jammu, along the border with Pakistan, and the release of the postage stamps happened before India agreed to Pakistan’s proposal for a meeting between Foreign Ministers on Thursday.

On Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had, in a series of tweets, taken on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not reacting to the killing of BSF jawan Narendra Singh whose mutilated body was found near the Jammu-Pakistan border.

Published on September 21, 2018

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