According to news reports, New Delhi has called off a meeting between the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, just a day after confirming the development.
The reason for cancellation of meeting was stated by Indian External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, “unclean intentions” on Pakistan’s side. He 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 Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office,” he said. “Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless.”
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed the development “unfortunate”, saying, “We had already told India that if they take one step towards us, we will take two. However, it seems that they faltered after taking just one step.”
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman sent a Twitter condemning the move, saying, “Shame that on International Peace Day, India has refused to talk peace with Pakistan in even a routine manner at the UN on the sidelines of the General Assembly.” “Running from talks won’t change the fact that this time Indian repression in Kashmir has been noticed in a UN report “, she added.
The Indian arrogance can be attributed to a recently signed agreement between the US and India that would pave the way for New Delhi to buy advanced American weaponry and to share sensitive military technology, strengthening their military partnership as both powers warily eyes the rise of China. The countries also promised to hold joint land, sea and air military exercises in India next year.
On the day Jim Mattis, the US Defense Secretary had said, “Today’s fruitful discussion illustrated the value of continued cooperation between the world’s two largest democracies. We will work together for a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
If I refer back to the visit of Jim Mattis, Defense Secretary and Mike Pompeo, State Secretary, despite the friendly handshakes and flattering remarks exchanged as the two met with their counterparts, their counties remain deeply skeptical of each other.
The US is worried about how willing India will be to openly counter China as the Chinese expand their influence in the waters between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is also unhappy about India’s reluctance to cut trade relations with Iran.
India views the Trump administration as erratic, and it is troubled by the United States’ recent barriers to trade, which threaten to impose tariffs on Indian goods and force New Delhi to import more American products.
I would also attribute Indian attitude as assign of frustration, because the US has failed in convincing Pakistan to allow Indian goods to pass through for Afghanistan and Iran. It is irony of fate that the US remains dependent on Pakistan for the passing of NATO supplies. The US has not forgotten the adversities faced after Pakistan put a temporary embargo on the movement of NATO supplies.