Saudi King Salman hosts Pakistan PM on first foreign visit

Pakistan's PM Imran Khan has lashed out at India over their decision to cancel talks

Pakistan's PM Imran Khan has lashed out at India over their decision to cancel talks

"In view of the changed situation, there will be no meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in NY", said the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Friday.

Even after the incident, the government had confirmed that in response to a letter from Imran Khan to PM Modi requesting the resumption of dialogue, it had made a decision to allow foreign minister talks in the US.

Despite this reluctant acceptance by India to engage with Pakistan, the development is significant as the Sushma-Qureshi meeting would be the first high-level interaction in almost three years. The BJP has long advocated a tough stance toward Pakistan.

The US state department stated that it was "terrific news for the Indians and Pakistanis to be able to sit down and have a conversation together".

In Khan's first official communication about bilateral talks since he took office in August, he said that all major issues, including terrorism and Kashmir, should be resolved through dialogue.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), speaks after voting in the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan July 25, 2018.

He said a Saudi delegation including the finance and energy ministers will visit Pakistan in the first week of October to lay the foundations for "big financial cooperation" between the two countries. "It remains for India to respond", media outlet quoted Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal as saying.

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India's Ministry of External Affairs blamed the "latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of twenty postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism". As far as trade is concerned, Saudi Arabia is among the main 15 export partners of Pakistan and trade is above $4 billion per annum with prospects that a Bilateral Investment Treaty could be signed.

He added: "If India comes and takes one step towards us, we will take two steps toward them".

Islamabad has invited Saudi Arabia to invest in the Beijing-funded, multi-billion dollar infrastructure corridor being constructed in Pakistan, its information minister said Thursday, as concerns grow over the country's debt levels.

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The agreement was signed in 2006.

Both the countries have not engaged in any dialogue since 2015. The Munabao- Khokhrapar train service connects Pakistan's Sindh and India's Rajasthan provinces. India also claimed it had carried a "surgical strike" to avenge the Uri attack.

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