September 21, 2018 / 12:18 PM / 2 months ago

India calls off planned meeting with Pakistan's foreign minister

A Pakistani Ranger stands near the Pakistani flag and Indian flag (L) during a daily parade at the Pakistan-India joint check post at Wagah border, on the outskirts of Lahore February 26, 2010. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India called off on Friday a planned meeting of its foreign minister with her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly later this month.

India has decided to drop the idea of the proposed meeting, the first such high-level talk planned in years between the nuclear rivals, to protest about the killing of Indian security personnel and the glorification of a militant and militancy by Pakistan, India’s foreign office said in a statement.

The ministry had announced the meeting after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, suggesting their foreign ministers meet in New York.

But the statement said that since its announcement “two deeply disturbing developments have taken place”.

It cited “the latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities” and the recent release of postage stamps by Pakistan which it said glorified “a terrorist and terrorism”.

Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi blamed Indian politics. “Some elements don’t want resumption of talks between India and Pakistan. The elections in India are near and it appears that internal politics have influenced the government,” he told the local Samaa TV channel.

An Indian general election is due by May.

The Modi government has insisted that Pakistan act against anti-India Islamist militant groups that operate from its soil before it can resume peace talks to resolve long standing differences over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and other disputes.

Pakistan denies aiding and abetting attacks in India including in Kashmir and says it is fighting militant groups for its own security.

Reporting by Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; additional reporting by Asif Shahzad in ISLAMABAD; editing by David Stamp

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