India slams Imran Khan’s Special Assistant, says never approached Pakistan for talks

Govt says statements made by Moeed W. Yusuf earlier this week is Pakistan’s effort to ‘mislead its domestic constituents by pulling India into headlines on a daily basis’.

Moeed Yusuf, the Special Assistant on national security and strategic policy planning to Prime Minister Imran Khan | Photo:  
File photo of Pakistan's National Security Adviser Moeed W. Yusuf | Photo:  

New Delhi: India Thursday rejected the claims made by top Pakistani official Moeed W. Yusuf that New Delhi had approached Islamabad for talks, saying the statements made by him are “misleading and fictitious”.

In an interview to The Wire earlier this week, Yusuf, the Special Assistant on national security and strategic policy planning to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, had said India expressed its “desire for a conversation” but Pakistan put a condition on including the issue of Kashmir in the talks. 

Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said “no such message was sent from our side”.

“As regards the purported message, let me make it clear that no such message was sent from our side… As always, this is Pakistan’s effort to divert attention from domestic failures of the present government and mislead its domestic constituents by pulling India into headlines on a daily basis,” Srivastava said during a media briefing.

“We have seen reports on the interview by a senior Pakistani official to an Indian media outlet. He has commented on India’s internal matters … The official is well advised to restrict his advice to his establishment and not to comment on India’s domestic policy,” he added.

During the interview, conducted by journalist Karan Thapar, Yusuf had stated that Pakistan is willing to discuss terrorism as well as Kashmir. 

Yusuf had further said India must “reverse” the decision on Kashmir, referring to the revocation of Article 370 last August, which they view as “military siege” in the Valley, and also demanded a “roll back of the new domicile law”.

Also read: In Pakistan, ‘Modi ka jo yaar hai, woh ghaddar hai’ mood is on

Yusuf’s statements are ‘contrary to facts on the ground’

Srivastava said, “The statements made by him are contrary to facts on the ground, misleading and fictitious.”

He added Pakistan continues to “support, aid and abet cross-border terrorism against India and has also been resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violations to support terrorist infiltration”.

“The Pakistani leadership continues to indulge in inappropriate, provocative and hate speech against India. Such support to terrorism against India and use of derogatory and abusive language are not conducive to normal neighbourly relations,” he said.

Controversy before FATF plenary

This comes less than a week before the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is scheduled to hold its next plenary from 21-23 October where it will take a call whether or not to blacklist Pakistan for terror financing and money laundering. 

Meanwhile, Wednesday, during his address at a virtual meeting of the Commonwealth foreign ministers, Vikas Swarup, Secretary (West), MEA, referred to Pakistan as an “epicentre of terrorism and hosting the largest number of terrorists proscribed by the United Nations”.

Also read: India slams Pakistan envoy to China for ‘lies and half-truths’ on Jammu & Kashmir