Pakistan to unequivocally support Kashmir cause in UNGA session: FM

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ISLAMABAD: In a long awaited ice breaker, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in NY later in September, a spokesman at Indian Ministry of External Affairs said.

India cancelled on Friday, September 21, a rare meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart scheduled to have taken place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, only a day after announcing it would take place.

Referring to the incidents, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that it has exposed the "true face" of Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan to the world as well as Islamabad's evil agenda behind the proposal for talks.

"Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless ..." The Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) had stalled after the January 2016 terror strike on the airbase in Pathankot.

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To a question on how this decision should be interpreted, MEA spokesperson reiterated, "There is nothing much to read into this meeting at this stage". The Permanent Missions of both India and Pakistan will together work out the details.

The decision comes from the Indian side in the aftermath of the killing of a BSF soldier along the border and the release of series of 20 postal stamps by Pakistan glorifying terrorists.

In fact, India and Pakistan has not had any substantial dialogue since 2012.

The Express Tribune quoted Qureshi as saying that India has not responded positively to Pakistan's invitation for dialogue.

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Khan's letter to Modi was delivered on Sept 17 and on the same a letter from Qureshi to Sushma Swaraj was handed over by the Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi.

The US recently said it would support a peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan. "In India, there is a government which finds it electorally useful to keep on attacking Pakistan on the issue of terrorism", said Joshi.

Earlier, Pakistan PM wrote a letter to PM Modi, seeking to re-start the talks on key issues including Kashmir.

The meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India, scheduled to take place in NY, has been cancelled by the Indian government on Friday, Indian media reported.

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".The government of India's position as of now (on SAARC) is that unless there is reduction or end to the cross border terrorism, we see no goal of having a regional meeting", a government source said here. India has been maintaining that it desires normal neighbourly ties with Islamabad but any meaningful discussion can be held only in a climate free of terror, hostility and violence.

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