NEW DELHI: The government strongly denied Thursday it had sent any message to Islamabad for dialogue noting that PM Imran Khan‘s security adviser was commenting on India’s “internal matters” and reiterated that Pakistan continued to support, aid and abet cross-border terrorism against India. The government also said that Pakistan had been resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violations to support terrorist infiltration.
There has been no substantive bilateral engagement between India and Pakistan since December, 2015, when the two sides revived the dialogue process as comprehensive bilateral dialogue. India had held that the previous process did not focus enough on terrorism. This though was put paid to in just a few weeks by the Pathankot terror attack carried out by forces from across the border.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s security adviser Moeed Yusuf had said in an interview Wednesday that Islamabad had received a message from India seeking talks. He had also claimed that Pakistan would talk to India if Kashmiris were also included in the dialogue process. The claim, however, failed to generate any traction. This expectedly invited a pointed snub that these were “internal matters” which did not concern Pakistan.
“The official is well advised to restrict his advice to his establishment and not to comment on India’s domestic policy. The statements made by him are contrary to facts on the ground, misleading and fictitious,’’ said the official. “As regards the purported message, let me make it clear that no such message was sent from our side,’’ he added.
“We have seen reports on the interview by a senior Pakistani official to an Indian media outlet. He has commented on India’s internal matters,’’ said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, adding that, as always, this was Pakistan’s effort to divert attention from domestic failures of the present government and to mislead its domestic constituents by pulling India into headlines on a daily basis.
Reiterating that the Pakistani leadership continued to indulge in inappropriate, provocative and hateful speeches against India, the government said such support to terrorism against India and use of derogatory and abusive language was not conducive to normal neighbourly relations.
Yusuf had said that Pakistan was also ready to discuss the issue of terrorism. “We have got to think strategically. These are two countries, have terrible relations, we need to sit down like adult. There are fundamentally two issues: Kashmir and terrorism. I want to talk about both,’’ he was quoted as saying.