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India calls off Sushma-Qureshi meet: Blasts new Pak PM Imran Khan

9/21/2018

New Delhi, India on Friday called off the proposed meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistan counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying any such conclave or conversation with Pakistani leaders will be "meaningless". "Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless. In view of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a strongly worded statement. Blasting at the release of postage stamps by Pakistan "glorifying a terrorist and terrorism" and also the killing of Jammu and Kashmir police personnel by "Pakistan-bases entities", the MEA spokesman also lashed out at new Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. "Now, it is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office," he said. The announcement to call off the meeting on Friday came about 24 hours after MEA spokesman Mr Kumar told reporters in Delhi that Sushma Swaraj will be meeting Mr Qureshi on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York later this month. "I must distinguish between a meeting and a dialogue. This should be not confused with resumption of any dialogue, this is a meeting which we have agreed to, based on the request, which we have got from the Pakistani side. This does not indicate any change in the policy as far as our stand on terrorism and cross-border terrorism is concerned," Mr Kumar has said on Thursday. The killing of three cops in Jammu and Kashmir sparked off strong criticism including from Congress leader Kapil Sibal, whose colleague and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had been pressing for reviving the talks. "Pakistan se baat kya karenge aap (What really you want to talk to Pakistan)," Mr Sibal told reporters here. "Will you remain 'maun (silent)' in that meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister," he said.

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