India's position on Kashmir is ‘untenable, illegal and amoral'
Describing India's position on Kashmir as “untenable, illegal and amoral,” Pakistan on Thursday said a Foreign Minister-level engagement with India could not take place in New York because of “India's inflexibility.”
‘Can't become indifferent'
Asked for a response to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna's statement that Pakistan should not “impart lessons to us on democracy and human rights” — with reference to his counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi's Kashmir-related remarks at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) — Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said: “No doubt, Pakistan is facing domestic difficulties, but so is India. That does not mean we become indifferent and not raise our voice against grisly oppression and grave violations of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Side-stepping a question on whether the UNGA had proved to be a debacle as far as Indo-Pak relations were concerned, Mr. Basit reiterated Pakistan's stated position that it wanted to engage with India in a sustained and meaningful dialogue which included all issues, especially the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. “We are not interested in photo-ops. The ball is in India's court,” he said.
Refusing to divulge details on why the two ministers could not have a bilateral engagement in New York, Mr. Basit's reply to the possibility of mediation by the United States was that while Pakistan was not averse to third-party intervention, “we are aware of India's position on this.”
He added that it was unfortunate that even bilaterally, India was not serious about result-oriented negotiations.
No official word
Though there was no official word on why the talks did not take place, sources claimed it was because India was unwilling to accept Pakistan's suggestion of a Foreign Secretary-level engagement ahead of the proposed ministerial meeting in India, to which Mr. Krishna has invited Mr. Qureshi more than once.