Pakistan today rejected India’s charge that it was harbouring terrorists, and said that the neighbouring country had been turning down its attempts at achieving peace on “flimsy grounds”.
“India and Pakistan were supposed to meet on the sidelines of the UNGA, but its Narendra Modi government called off dialogue for the third time on flimsy grounds,” said Pakistan Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, adding that its neighbour prefers “politics over peace”.
Mr Qureshi held that Pakistan desires a relationship based on mutual respect with India, and will continue to pursue partnerships for peace and prosperity in the immediate neighbourhood.
The Pakistan Foreign Minister also vowed to continue being the leading voice of UN reform, but added that it will oppose new centres of power and prestige.
Mr Qureshi also praised China in his address. “The strongest antidote to the poison of terrorism is development. China’s belt and road project is one of great vision,” he said.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had slammed Pakistan on Saturday, accusing it of harbouring terrorists and “masking malevolence with duplicity”. Denying the neighbouring nation’s charge that India was shying away from talks, Ms Swaraj said it was impossible to speak to a nation where proclaimed terrorist Hafiz Saeed roams freely. “We have not sabotaged negotiations with Pakistan. We began talks with them because we believed it necessary. They were stalled only because of Pakistan’s own behaviour,” she said.
Ms Swaraj claimed that while the neighbouring country accuses India of rights violations, terrorists are “bigger violators”. “Pakistan glorifies killers, refuses to see the blood of innocents, and then throws the dust of deceit on India to cover its own guilt,” she said.
However, Sushma Swaraj said it was “heartening” that the world was no longer ready to believe Pakistan. “Even the Financial Action Task Force has put it on notice over terror funding,” she added.