India once again wasted serious opportunity of peace, development: FO


Islamabad, Sep 22 (TNS): Foreign Office says Pakistan is deeply disappointed at the announcement made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs  in New Delhi about cancellation of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan.

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said the reasons cited by the Indian side for the decision to cancel the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation, are entirely unconvincing.

Dr Faisal said the alleged killing of BSF soldier took place two days prior to the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting.

The spokesperson said Pakistan categorically reject these allegations once again and offer to conduct a joint investigation to establish the truth.

He said the postage stamps mentioned in the Indian statement were issued before the 25 July 2018 elections, as a result of which the Government of Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office.

The stamps highlight the gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, which were extensively documented also in a comprehensive report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as late as June 2018.

Dr Faisal said by its ill-considered cancellation of the meeting, Pakistan believes that India has once again wasted a serious opportunity to change the dynamics of the bilateral relationship and put the region on the path of peace and development.

He said Pakistan has always desired peaceful and good-neighborly relations with India on the basis of sovereign equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

He said dialogue and diplomacy are the only constructive way forward for the two countries to address mutual concerns, rebuild trust, resolve longstanding disputes, and establish durable peace in South Asia.

The spokesperson said Pakistan will persist with its quest for peace and development, but our approach will continue to be guided by the aforementioned principles and the dictates of national dignity.

The Spokesperson said the most unfortunate is the reference in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs statement to the person of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Dr Faisal said these comments are against all norms of civilized discourse and diplomatic communication.