New York: Hours after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi raised the Kashmir issue in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) saying the “unresolved dispute” is impacting peace between India and Pakistan, India on Saturday requested the United Nations for the floor to exercise Right to Reply in response to Pakistan’s statements. Also Read - Pakistan Claims it Shot Down Small Indian Surveillance Drone
Addressing the General Debate of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, Qureshi said that Islamabad wanted a relationship with New Delhi based on “sovereign equality and mutual respect” but India cancelled the talks preferring “politics over peace”. Also Read - SAARC: Pakistan Boycotts India-led Trade Meeting on Coronavirus
“They used the pretext of stamps issued months ago…and depicting grave human rights violations, including pellet gun victims, as an excuse to back out from the talks,” the Pakistan Foreign Minister said. Also Read - 'Hydroxychloroquine': The Unproven 'Corona Drug' Donald Trump Is Obsessed With, All You Need to Know
India had on September 21 axed the talks with Pakistan, within 24 hours of confirming to a dialogue with SM Qureshi, citing the brutal killings of three soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.
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.”
The Pakistan Foreign Minister, however, defended the country alleging that India used the pretext of stamps issued months ago…and depicting grave human rights violations, including pellet gun victims, as an excuse to back out from the talks.”
“Dialogue is the only way to address long standing issues that have long bedeviled South Asia, and prevented the region from realising its true potential,” he said, adding that the “unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute hinders the realisation of the goal of durable peace” between the two countries.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday accused Pakistan of glorifying terrorists and providing them safe haven. Speaking at UNGA, she said, “In our case, terrorism is bred not in some faraway land but across our border. Our neighbour’s expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity.”
Responding to Pakistan’s allegations of sabotaging the process of talks, Swaraj said, “We are accused of sabotaging the process of talks… a complete lie. We believe that talks are the only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of their behaviour.”