New Delhi: India on Friday called off the foreign ministry-level talks with Pakistan blaming the latter for the killing of three soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian. The development came within 24 hours of the confirmation that Sushma Swaraj would be meeting Pak Foreign Minister SM Qureshi on the sidelines of UNGA scheduled to happen later this month in New York. Also Read - Pakistan Increases Testing Capability as Coronavirus Cases Rise to Nearly 1,900

Briefing the media, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism confirmed that Pakistan will not mend its ways,” said the statement by the Indian External Affairs Ministry. Also Read - Hindus Denied Food Supplies in Pakistan's Karachi, Indians Slam Imran Khan & Appeal PM Modi For Help

“Now it’s obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of new Prime Minister of Pakistan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in the office,” Kumar said, adding, “Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless.” Also Read - Coronavirus: In Letter to UNSC, Pakistan Highlights 'Dire Human Rights Situation' in Jammu And Kashmir

Maintaining that talks and terror cannot go hand-in-hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asserted that the Indian Army will give Pakistan a befitting reply.

Pakistan reacts over India’s decision to cancel talks

“Government of Pakistan is deeply disappointed at the announcement made by Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi today about the cancellation of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan, which was to be held on the sidelines of UNGA in New York,” Pakistani government said, news agency ANI reported.

Expressing disappointment at India’s decision to cancel the dialogue at UNGA, Pakistan President Arif Alvi accused India of “nullifying Prime Minister Imran Khan’s outstanding peace attempts in their usual belligerent manner” and said, “Sad to see India backing off from FM level talks. Mutual reservations could have been placed on the table. Kashmiris face only disappointment on International Day.”

Calling the development “unfortunate”, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “We had already told India that if they take one step towards us, we will take two. However, it seems that they faltered after taking just one step.” He further told Dawn that the world should see how “Pakistan has held a positive outlook while India’s attitude has not been so forthcoming.”

“I would only say that there was a chance, which was missed. Talks will only be held in a dignified and respectable manner… If they are not willing for it, then we also won’t act in haste,” he said. Reteariating that dialogue is the only way to come to the resolution of any issue, Qureshi said, “Pakistan had asked for the talks in the larger interest of the region.”

While Qureshi termed the development as “unfortunate”, Pakistan’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudry accused Indian policies of being guided by the extremist ideologies and said while Pakistan wants peace, Indian govt is divided on the issue of negotiations.

“It seems that the Indian govt is divided on the issue of negotiations – have never seen such a puerile statement given by any Foreign Office. The world is watching: Pakistan stands for peace while Indian policies are being guided by extremist ideologies,” Chaudry said.