Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Indian media misquoted foreign minister: Pakistan

ANI | Updated: Aug 20, 2018 19:22 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 20 (ANI): Hours after Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made a statement claiming India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan indicating beginning of a dialogue between the two nations, his office denied the minister had made such a statement and blamed Indian media for misquoting him.
"Foreign Minister had not stated that `the Indian Prime Minister had made an offer of a dialogue', but had said that the Indian Prime Minister in his letter to Prime Minister, Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, had also mentioned something similar to what the Foreign Minister elucidated earlier i.e. that the way forward was only through constructive engagement. The Foreign Minister was also briefed about the same positivity and constructive environment prevailing during the meeting of the former Minister of Law & Information with the Indian External Affairs Minister during his visit to India on 18 August 2018 to attend the funeral of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee," said Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal in a statement.
"Pakistan looks forward to a mutually beneficial, uninterrupted dialogue with India to resolve all issues. Any attempts to instigate controversy and vitiate the environment are counter-productive and against the spirit of responsible journalism," the statement added.
However, a video on Geo TV still shows Qureshi making that statement. "Mujhe abhi Foreign Secretary ne muttala kiya ki Hindustan ke Wazir-e-Azam ka kal khat aaya, jis me unhone Imran Khan sahab ko mubarakbaad pesh ki hai. Unhone guft-o-shunid ke raaaste ke aaghaz ka paigam diya hai. (The Foreign secretary just informed me that we received a letter from the Prime Minister of India yesterday, in which he congratulated Imran Khan. He also gave a message of paving the path for a dialogue.)," he said.
The claims made by the Foreign Minister about the letter were also denied by sources in India, and they emphasised that there was no fresh proposal for resumption of dialogue between the two countries. Sources in India said, "Prime Minister wrote to the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, on 18 August congratulating him on his assumption of charge. He expressed the belief that the smooth transition of Government in Pakistan would strengthen and cement people's belief in democracy. He recalled their telephone conversation, in which they spoke of their shared vision to bring peace, security and prosperity in the Indian subcontinent, in order to make it free of terror and violence, and to focus on development," sources said.
"Prime Minister expressed India's commitment to build good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan and pursue meaningful and constructive engagement for the benefit of the people of the region," sources added.(ANI)