Days after India cancelled the proposed meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday said that his government’s offer of “friendship” to India should not be considered as its weakness.
“I hope the Indian leadership will shun arrogance and hold (peace) talks with Pakistan. Our offer of friendship should not be considered as our weakness. The friendship between Pakistan and India will help overcome poverty,” PTI quoted Pakistan PM as saying while addressing Punjab bureaucracy in Lahore.
Khan, however, at home is facing questions over sudden ‘haste’ in improving relations between the two countries. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have held him responsible for the “diplomatic debacle”, saying he should have done his “homework” before approaching for a meeting.
Earlier, Khan in a harsh comment attacked the Indian dispensation for cancelling the meeting. Taking to Twitter, Khan said, “Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for the 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.”
India had cancelled the meeting, a day after accepting Pakistan’s proposal, citing the killings of police officers in J&K by Pak trained militants and the release of postage stamps to commemorate the anniversary of killings of Hizbul’s Burhan Wani, who was gunned down by security forces last year. The government said, “the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed” and the “true face” of Imran Khan, the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been “revealed to the world”.
Meanwhile, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat supporting the government’s decision said that there is a difference between what the Pakistani government is speaking and what’s transpiring on the ground. “When Imran Khan came to power in Pakistan, he tried to send some messages of peace. But whether the entire establishment in Pakistan wants this peace is what we have to understand. There seems to be some kind of variation in what is being uttered, what is being spoken about, & what we’re seeing in action on the ground. I think there is disharmony between the two,” ANI quoted General Rawat as saying.