Bishkek, Pakistan wants talks with India on the “basis of equality” and in a “dignified manner” and has said it’s up to New Delhi to decide whether it wants to engage with Islamabad to reconcile issues.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said this while confirming the exchange of pleasantries between Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi here on Friday on the sidelines of the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.
“Yes, the meeting did take place. There was a handshake and exchange of pleasantries,” Qureshi told Geo News in Kyrgyzstan’s capital.
He, however, accused the Indian government of still “being in the election mindset”. “Pakistan has said what it has to. India has not come out of its election mindset and the extreme position they had taken to influence their constituency and to keep their vote bank intact. It’s still confined in that,” said Qureshi.
“India has to make this decision. We are neither in haste, nor troubled. When India prepares itself, it would find us prepared. But we will hold talks on the basis of equality, in a dignified manner,” Qureshi said.
Stating that “neither we (Pakistan) need to run after anyone, nor to demonstrate stubbornness”, he said: “Pakistan’s approach is realistic and well thought-out.”
Tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad escalated after the February Pulwama terror attack, claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
The exchange of pleasantries between Khan and Modi was the first such event between the two Prime Ministers amidst the chill in bilateral relations.
It has come after Khan and Qureshi wrote letters to Modi seeking revival of talks.