Mon, 17 Jun 2019

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan denounced India's decision to cancel rare talks with Islamabad just one day after New Delhi said they would take place on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly.

Khan on September 22 wrote on Twitter that he was 'Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue.'

'However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.'

The New York meeting was take place between Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj [eds: a woman] and Pakistan's Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

High-level talks between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan are rare. India has long accused Pakistan of arming rebel groups in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. It also blames Pakistan for financing the deadly 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

India on September 20 announced the plans for the talks on the sidelines of the General Assembly meetings after Khan had written to Indian counterpart Narendra Modi seeking to resolve outstanding disputes between the two neighbors.

However, on September 21, India's Foreign Ministry said the talks were called off after what it described as the "latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities."

The ministry said the meeting also was being canceled by New Delhi in protest of the release by Pakistan of a series of 20 postage stamps "glorifying a terrorist and terrorism."

The ministry did not provide further details about the killings, but earlier in the week, an Indian border guard in Kashmir had been slain and his body mutilated.

Then three policemen were then found dead on September 21 after being abducted in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Pakistan insisted it had 'nothing to do with' the deaths and accused India of spreading 'motivated and malicious propaganda.'

Pakistan recently issued postage stamps of Burhan Wani, a popular Kashmiri militant commander killed by Indian troops in July 2016. His killing sparked a wave of violent protests in Kashmir.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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