India rejects Imran Khan's offer for talks

India rejects Imran Khan's offer for talks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a high-level meeting on security at his residence, in New Delhi, on Thursday. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Air

India on Thursday rejected Pakistan's offer of talks, saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan's government should first take immediate, credible and verifiable action against the terror organisations in territories under its control.

New Delhi made it clear that the onus was now on the Khan government in Islamabad to create a conducive atmosphere for talks. The only way it could do so was by acting against the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and other terrorist organizations operating in Pakistan and territories under the control of Pakistan, which are carrying out terror attacks in India.

Khan, in a speech delivered during a joint session of both Houses of Pakistani Parliament on Thursday, had said that he had attempted to hold a telephone call with his counterpart in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that he wanted to convey to Modi that Islamabad wanted a de-escalation of the tension between the two countries.

Islamabad indicated that the telephone call between the two leaders could not take place as New Delhi did not respond to its proposal. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, said that Khan was still willing to talk to Modi.

Sources in New Delhi, however, said that Islamabad would first have to act on the dossier, which had been handed over to Pakistan's deputy envoy to India, Syed Haider Shah, on Wednesday.

The dossier, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi, contained specific details of the JeM's complicity in the recent killing of over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. It also contained the details about the presence of the JeM's terror camps and the leaders of the outfit in Pakistan.

Sources in New Delhi pointed out that the Pakistani prime minister had promised to act if his government was provided evidence of the links between his country and the February 14 suicide attack on the CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. Since New Delhi had now provided evidence to Islamabad, Khan must now walk the talk.

New Delhi also questioned the credibility of Khan and his government in Islamabad by pointing out that Pakistan had conveyed to P-5 nations (US, UK, Russia, France and China – the five permanent members of the international community) late on Wednesday that India was preparing for a missile attack on it, amassed soldiers along the Line of Control and international border and Indian Navy war ships were moving towards its coast. Sources said that all the claims by Pakistan government about India's preparations for escalating the conflict was fictitious.

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