Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has lashed out at India‘s decision to cancel talks between the two countries at next week’s United Nations General Assembly, calling the reversal “arrogant” and “negative”.
Officials from the two countries were scheduled to meet in New York.
However, India backed out of the talks on Friday, blaming “latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of 20 postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism”.
On Saturday, Khan took to Twitter to express his disappointment.
“Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue,” Khan said on Twitter.
“However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”
Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 22, 2018
India has long accused Pakistan of arming rebel groups in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both.
Pakistan recently issued postage stamps of Burhan Wani, a young Kashmiri rebel commander killed by Indian troops in July 2016, whose death sparked a wave of violent protests in India-administered Kashmir.
A statement issued by India’s foreign ministry on Friday said: “It is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of [the] new Prime Minister of Pakistan has been revealed to [the] world in his first few months in the office”.
India’s decision prompted sharp criticism from Islamabad.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement released on Friday, said the government was “deeply disappointed” at the decision and called the reasons cited by India “entirely unconvincing”.
Rejecting allegations of killing and mutilating the Indian border guard, Pakistan called it a “motivated and malicious propaganda”.
“By falsely raising the canard of ‘terrorism’, India can neither hide its unspeakable crimes against the Kashmiri people nor can it delegitimise their indigenous struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination,” the statement added.
On Saturday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he was “deeply saddened” by India’s reversal.
“It was an opportunity [for progress in bilateral ties], which I think India’s domestic circumstances did not allow to materialise,” said Qureshi. “There is no precedent of how diplomatic norms were trampled.”
Soon after taking office last month, Imran Khan, 65, publicly advocated an easing of Pakistan-India relations.