Written byAnjana Raghav
Pakistan's two major opposition parties have questioned the "haste" shown by PM Imran Khan in making efforts to mend ties with India and held him responsible for "diplomatic debacle", saying he should have done his "homework" before approaching for the meeting.
Khan had written a letter to PM Narendra Modi, seeking to re-start bilateral talks on issues "challenging the relationship" including terrorism and Kashmir.
India initially agreed to a meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
However, New Delhi on Friday called off the meeting, citing the "brutal" killing of three policemen in J&K as well as the release of the postal stamps "glorifying" Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani by Pakistan.
This rejection by India is a "diplomatic debacle" of the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, according to both Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
PML-N lawmaker Khawaja Mohammad Asif criticized Khan for stating in the letter that "Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism," and said it seemed the government was "not prepared" from the day one.
Reasoning why he alleged about Khan's lack of knowledge, Asif said US and India recently issued a joint statement after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Delhi and Islamabad, which was "dead against" Pakistan.
"US and India raised all kinds of allegations against Pakistan and you're talking about terrorism (in the letter). It's a sign of weakness (on our part)," Asif said.
Asif emphasized he was not against normalization of relations between India and Pakistan but "dignity must be maintained". He also criticized PM Modi, alleging that "he is playing to the gallery" as part of the poll campaign.
Meanwhile, PPP Vice-President Sherry Rehman said, "Right now, however, Indian Government and Army chief response is both immature and irresponsible. What are they threatening Pakistan about?"
"They (India) have crossed all diplomatic norms and protocols to emerge as belligerent nuclear power that's only looking to externalize its own extremisms," Rehman said.
Indo-Pakistan ties nose-dived following a spate of terror attacks on Indian military bases by Pakistan-based terror groups since 2016.
India has since announced it'll not engage in talks with Pakistan, saying terror and talks cannot go hand-in-hand.
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