No Back Channel Diplomacy Underway: There Is No Back Channel Dialogue Between Pakistan And India – Khar


Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar has said that there is no backroom talk between India and Pakistan. Khar said these things in the upper house of the Parliament. Talking about the controversial BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi, he said that the broadcaster has shown the world what Pakistan has already said.

Islamabad: Pakistan said on Thursday that there is no back-channel dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi. Minister of State for External Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar told the Senate, the upper house of parliament, ‘no such thing is going on at the moment’. He said that informal diplomacy is desirable when it is result-oriented. At a weekly media briefing, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch reiterated Khar’s remarks about no informal diplomatic talks with India.

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Baloch said, ‘There is no informal diplomacy between India and Pakistan.’ Khar told the Senate that Pakistan has always taken initiatives to promote peace in the region, but “right now, the hostilities across the border (from India) are of a different kind.” He said that at one point of time, Pakistan was asked to normalize relations with India in international forums, but the world should look at the messages New Delhi is giving to Islamabad.

Khar told the MPs, ‘The messages we are getting are all provocative. Pakistan has the greatest interest in harnessing the (potentials) of this region, but when you have a government on the other side whose prime minister says their nuclear weapons are not for Diwali (…) what can we do? ‘ Khar’s remarks came days after Indian media reported that New Delhi had barred Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers and chief justices’ meetings in Goa in May. And invited Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial.

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Baloch said that Pakistan has received the invitation sent by India as the host of the SCO meeting and is reviewing it. He said, ‘The invitation is being reviewed. A decision will be taken after discussions about attending the meeting. He said that as in the past, steps are being taken on the Indian invitation as per standard procedures and a decision will be taken at the appropriate time. The spokesperson also said that SCO is an important inter-regional organization which aims to strengthen economic ties and cooperation among the member states in various fields.

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Talking about the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khar said the broadcaster has shown the world what Pakistan has already said. He said that Pakistan has learned from history, but some countries in the region have not. India says it wants normal neighborly relations with Pakistan, while insisting that the onus lies on Islamabad to create an environment free of terror and hostility for such an engagement.

In February 2019, relations between India and Pakistan were severely strained after Indian warplanes bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, in response to the Pulwama terror attack. In August 2019, relations between the two countries deteriorated further after India announced the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.


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