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Pakistan to India’s objection on Burhan Wani stamps: 'Not all of them are terrorists'

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 24 Sep 2018, 07:00:58 PM
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

New Delhi:

Days after India slammed Pakistan for releasing postal stamps of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and cited it as one of the two reasons for cancelling of ministerial-level talks, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said “hundreds of thousands of people are fighting in Kashmir, not all of them are terrorists.”

India on Friday cited the "brutal" killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the release of the postal stamps "glorifying" Burhan Wani for calling off the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this month.

"India is reluctant, we will not close our doors," Qureshi said while addressing a news conference at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington on Sunday. "Hiding away from issues will not make them disappear. It will not improve the situation in Kashmir," Dawn online quoted Qureshi as saying. "Engagement, no-engagement. Coming, not coming. We desired talks as we believe the sensible way is to meet and talk. They agreed, and then disagreed," Qureshi said. 

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According to Qureshi, India's response to Pakistan's peace offer was harsh and non-diplomatic. 

"We did not use a non-diplomatic language in our rejoinder. Our response was matured and measured. They adopted a new approach, and moved back," he said. 

Taking on Swaraj, Qureshi said the Indian External Affairs Minister’s "language and tone was unbecoming of a foreign minister".
"We did not use a non-diplomatic language in our rejoinder. Our response was matured and measured. They adopted a new approach, and moved back," he said.

The foreign minister also alleged that Swaraj's "language and tone was unbecoming of a foreign minister", the report said.Asked if tensions between India and Pakistan could lead to a war between the two countries, Qureshi said "Who is talking of war? Not us. We want peace, stability, employment and improving lives. You identify where is the reluctance".Qureshi said that Pakistan's desire for peace should not be mistaken for a sign of weakness."We want peace. It does not mean, we cannot defend ourselves against aggression. We can but we do not have an aggressive mindset," he said.

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The foreign minister also reiterated Pakistan's offer to open the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor for allowing Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the historic gurdwara on the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.India initially agreed to a meeting between Swaraj and Qureshi, but later said it would would be "meaningless" to hold talks after the "two deeply disturbing" developments.Ties between India and Pakistan nosedived following a spate of terror attacks on Indian military bases by Pakistan-based terror groups since January 2016.Following the strikes, India announced it will not engage in talks with Pakistan, saying terror and talks cannot go hand-in-hand.

(With PTI inputs)

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First Published : 24 Sep 2018, 07:00:24 PM