Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday said New Delhi called off the planned meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan owing to an issue which took place in July.
“India in September presented an issue which took place in July as an excuse to back out of the meeting,” the foreign minister said while speaking to the media in Doha en route to New York. "I think this is not appropriate," he added.
FM Qureshi elaborated, "Stamps were used as an excuse although the stamps in question were distributed before the PTI-led government took charge."
The foreign minister said India first agreed to the meeting and then “later found an excuse” to cancel it.
“The talks were called off due to India’s internal issues,” Qureshi asserted and added that he was "deeply disappointed" after reading India's stance.
The foreign minister, who is travelling to New York to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, further stressed, "Diplomatic protocol was crushed by India."
FM Qureshi further regretted that the "words used by India for Prime Minister Imran Khan's July 26 sentiments were inappropriate and contrary to diplomatic protocol."
He also said that the resolution of outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India through dialogue is in the regional interest.
Responding to a question about the UNGA session, the foreign minister said he will present Pakistan's stance on different matters at the session as well as during his meetings and talks with leaders on the sidelines.
India on Thursday decided to back out of the proposed meeting between foreign ministers of both the countries on the sidelines of the UNGA session.
Earlier, a statement released by the office of Pakistani government's spokesperson said the reasons provided for cancelling the meeting "are entirely unconvincing".
The statement further went on to mention that the postage stamps in question "were issued before the 25 July 2018 elections, as a result of which the Government of Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office".
"The stamps highlight the gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, which were extensively documented also in a comprehensive report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as late as June 2018," it added.
On Friday, Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had confirmed the cancellation of the meeting, citing the alleged killing of three Indian police officers and a personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) as the reason.
On Thursday, the MEA spokesperson had confirmed that Qureshi and Swaraj would meet on the sidelines of the UNGA, later this month. Kumar, however, had not specified a date for the meeting but sources told media that it was scheduled for September 27.
The spokesperson had said the decision for the foreign ministers' meet was taken after Khan penned a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.