Islamabad: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that there is no possibility of resumption of dialogue with India before the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in 2019. Also Read - COVID-19: Pakistan Says Situation Under Control as Coronavirus Cases Rise to 1,526
Speaking to journalists after attending the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs’ meeting here, Qureshi said that talks could be held with India only after the general elections in the neighbouring country. Also Read - Has Pakistan PM Imran Khan Tested Positive For Coronavirus? Here's the Truth Behind the Viral Claim
The statement comes after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said last month that he would once again extend a hand of friendship to India after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as he believed New Delhi rebuffed his offer of talks because Pakistan is an issue in the elections in the neighbouring country. Also Read - COVID-19: 194 New Cases Emerge in Single Day, Death Toll Reaches 23; Is India Ready For Stage 3?
Khan said he had extended a hand of friendship to India, which rebuffed the move.
After assuming power in August, Khan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting a meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September.
India accepted the proposal but, within hours of its acceptance, terrorists killed three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir, prompting New Delhi to cancel the foreign ministers’ meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA.
“He (Khan) attributed this (cancellation) to anti-Pakistan rhetoric raking in votes in India,” the Express Tribune newspaper reported, citing the prime minister.
The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and India’s surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In his victory speech after the July elections, Khan expressed his willingness to improve Pakistan’s ties with India and said that his government would like the leaders of the two sides to resolve all disputes, including the core issue of Kashmir, through talks.