India Says, Pakistan Prime Minister Should Back Up His Talk By Action Against Terrorists For Better Ties


New Delhi: The government of India says, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan should back up his talk about wanting better ties with India by acting against terror groups based in his country whose leaders have been hobnobbing with ministers.

In an unusually strong reaction to Khan’s remarks about India rebuffing his peace overtures, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “There is no seriousness in his statement about wanting to hold talks and it must be backed up with action.”

Kumar rubbished the Pakistani premier’s comments about Indian minorities not being treated properly and said, “I think Pakistan should be the last country in the world to lecture us on the topic of plurality and inclusive society. We and the world are fully aware about how the minorities are treated in their country.”

Bilateral ties hit a fresh low after India called off a planned meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries last September over terror-related concerns. There has been no formal dialogue between the two sides for a decade since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

During an interview with Turkish state-run television, Khan said he believed the Indian government had rejected his offers for talks because of upcoming elections.

“Since the elections are coming in, I feel the anti-Pakistan rhetoric gets votes for the BJP… I have to say I’m disappointed but again I reiterate two nuclear-armed countries should never think of sorting out their differences through war,” he said.

Pakistan, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said, is talking about a dialogue only to deflect attention from its internal problems, including its financial woes. He said Pakistan should address certain issues before proposing talks.

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