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Saturday 11 July 2020

Pakistan opposition holds Khan govt responsible for ‘diplomatic debacle’

Khan had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking to re-start bilateral talks on key issues "challenging the relationship" including on terrorism and Kashmir

Islamabad: Two major opposition parties — the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — have held the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government responsible for the latest “diplomatic debacle” following New Delhi’s refusal to hold the meeting.
These two parties have questioned the “haste” shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan in making efforts to mend ties with India and held him responsible for the “diplomatic debacle”, saying he should have done his “homework” before approaching for a meeting.

 

Khan had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking to re-start bilateral talks on key issues “challenging the relationship” including on terrorism and Kashmir.

India initially agreed to a meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this month.

However, New Delhi on Friday called off the meeting, citing the “brutal” killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the release of the postal stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

Former foreign minister and PML-N lawmaker Khawaja Mohammad Asif criticised Khan for stating in the letter that “Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism” and said it seemed the government was “not prepared” from the day one.

“Too much keenness being shown by the prime minister showed weakness on our part. Giving them (India) too much reflects haste on our part to mend fences with India,” Asif was quoted as saying by Dawn news.

PPP Vice-President and former envoy to the US Sherry Rehman said that the Imran Khan government should have done its homework before approaching India for a meeting, especially after the initial response.

Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived following a spate of terror attacks on Indian military bases by Pakistan based terror groups since January 2016. Following the strikes, India announced it will not engage in talks with Pakistan, saying terror and talks cannot go hand-in-hand.

 

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