Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said that India is yet to get out of their “post-election hangover” as they [the Indian government] believe engaging with Pakistan would damage their constituencies. He also said that they [the BJP-led government] are still caught under “the extreme Hindutva element on which they won the Lok Sabha polls”.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi also said that Pakistan would not run after India for talks between the two countries.
Pakistan’s foreign minister was addressing the media at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
On being asked about a probable meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the SCO summit, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that no meeting was scheduled between the two leaders and “that was very clear that there would be no structured meeting”.
“I believe that the Indian government is not out of their election mode. India is yet to get out of their post-election hangover. The extreme Hindutva element is under what they won the elections and are still caught up under the same. They believe that engaging with Pakistan would damage their constituency,” Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.
He said, “When I was coming here, I did not have any ambiguity on the probability of a meeting taking place [between PM Modi and Imran Khan].”
On PM Modi not using the Pakistani airspace to travel to Bishkek for the SCO summit, the Pakistani minister said the Indian authorities had requested Pakistan to let Modi’s aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek. Despite that, he said, Modi opted the longer route.
“Pakistan as a goodwill gesture allowed the overflight. Despite Pakistan’s permission, they opted the longer route which reflects the mindset in which they are currently in,” Qureshi said, adding, “Our message to the world is very clear that we are a peaceful country and want peace and stability in the region.”
However, Qureshi said, there is no urgency.
Qureshi also said that Pakistan can wait “in a noble-minded manner” till India gets ready for talks but would not run after it. “If India is not ready then we can wait. Pakistan would wait in a noble-minded manner. Pakistan would not run after India for talks,” he said, adding, “Imran Khan represents the 6th biggest nation and he does not need to run after people.”
Shah Mehmood Qureshi also brought up the Balakot airstrikes and Pakistan’s retaliation after it, saying that they [Pakistan] had talked about peace but they [the Indian government] “responded with aggression and we responded back in a befitting manner”.
“Our desire is for peace and whenever they are ready, they would find us ready. But if they want to run away, we would not run back right at them,” he said.