Cancellation of Indo-Pak talks: Small men in big offices, says Imran Khan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan. File photo.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday expressed his disappointment with the Indian government’s decision to cancel proposed talks between the two foreign ministers, terming it an “arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue.”

“All my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture,” Mr. Khan tweeted, in a clear sign of frustration over his offer for talks having been spurned.


The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) didn’t immediately respond to Mr. Khan’s outburst.

On Friday, the MEA spokesman had said the killing of policemen in Jammu and Kashmir had revealed “the real face” of Mr. Khan and of Pakistan’s “evil agenda”.

The MEA cited that as the reason for the cancellation of the proposed talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The MEA’s statement had also referred to stamps issued by the Pakistan postal service that glorified Kashmiri terrorists including Burhan Wani

India trampled on diplomatic norms: Qureshi

Mr. Qureshi on Saturday charged India with having “trampled on diplomatic norms” by cancelling the meeting between foreign ministers that it had agreed to just a day prior.

Speaking to journalists in Islamabad, Mr. Qureshi said the issue of stamps by the Pakistan postal service allegedly glorifying Kashmiri terrorists was used as an excuse by India to cancel the talks.


“They used the issue of stamps as an excuse, which had been issued before this [PM Imran Khan’s] government came to power. To use something that happened in July to justify their actions in September is inappropriate,” Mr. Qureshi added, before leaving for New York.

Countdown to New York

Mr. Qureshi and Ms. Swaraj are now likely to be preparing for a face-off at the United Nations next week, where they are expected to be present at the same venue on a number of occasions. The two Foreign Ministers are also scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly on September 29.

The two South Asian neighbours have squared off at the U.N. in previous years as well, with India repeatedly raising the issue of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, and Pakistan flagging alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

On September 27, the two ministers are set to attend a luncheon meeting of the SAARC council, which could also see some flashpoints. Although SAARC events are normally expected to focus on South Asian issues and not feature bilateral matters, Mr. Qureshi has indicated that he would be raising the Kashmir dispute over the course of the week, including at the “Kashmir Contact Group” of the OIC on September 28.

In particular, he indicated to reporters that Pakistan intends to raise the June report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) — which was the first ever U.N. report on Jammu and Kashmir and criticised India for human rights violations in the State — asserting that the findings “could not be dismissed”.

Government sources in New Delhi brushed aside Mr. Qureshi’s statement, observing that Pakistan “raises Kashmir every year.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:37:07 PM |

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