India, Pakistan foreign ministers agree to meet in NY

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

Addressing the media on the latest development, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed on Thursday that on the request of the Pakistani side, a meeting between EAM Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi will take place on the sidelines of the UNGA at a mutually convenient date and time.

"Since yesterday's announcement of a meeting of foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, two deeply disturbing developments have taken place".

India cited the "brutal" killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the release of postal stamps "glorifying" terrorist Burhan Wani for cancelling the meeting between Swaraj and Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY this month.

Nauert also welcomed the exchange of messages between Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism", he added.

The UN General Assembly began on September 18 in NY and will conclude on September 30. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the meeting last year, and will attend this year's meeting as well.

"I must distinguish between a meeting and a dialogue..." He said, "This (the upcoming meeting) does not indicate any change as far as our policies on terrorism and cross-border terrorism are concerned".

Meanwhile, in yet another dastardly act Pakistani troops have slit the throat of a BSF jawan head constable Narendra Kumar along the global border near Jammu.

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Former advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said that it was "unfortunate" that India cancelled the meeting as it would have created an environment for peace.

"I can say this barbaric incident, which not only defies logic, defies civilized behaviour but also violates all worldwide norms", he stated.

Official sources said the body of Kumar also bore three bullet wounds and it could be retrieved from a spot ahead of the Indo-Pak fence only after over six hours of search. Khan has now in his letter asked for peace talks by calling for the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue process between the two countries.

The issue has become a political hot potato in Punjab, with Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu having tried to steal the thunder by raising it during his Pakistan visit.

The MEA spokesperson emphasised that despite agreeing to the meeting, India continued to hold the position that talks and terror can not go together. The PTI government has stressed that India and Pakistan need a continued and uninterrupted dialogue, which is the only way forward.

New Delhi had already rejected Pakistan's proposal for holding a Saarc Summit in Islamabad.

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