No Back-Channel Diplomacy with India, Says Pakistan Minister Hina Rabbani

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ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Senate was informed in categorical terms on Thursday that no back-channel diplomacy was presently taking place between Pakistan and India, the media reported.

Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar told the House during the question hour that hostility coming from the neighbouring country was of unique nature, Express Tribune reported.

She maintained that relations between the two nations were marred by a number of provocative steps by India, Express Tribune reported.

She stated that despite New Delhi’s negative attitude, Islamabad would continue on the path of peace, and the tension between the two on the Line of Control had decreased.

She continued that minorities in Pakistan enjoyed full religious protection but in India, they were being treated badly, Express Tribune reported.

Khar described the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor as a positive precedent, stating that such processes must move forward.

The minister’s remarks come days after, India invited Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to attend meetings of a key regional forum that also includes Russia and China.

The meeting of chief justices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is scheduled for March while the foreign ministers will meet in May in Goa.

However, Pakistan is in no hurry to respond to the Indian invitation to attend the key regional forum’s meeting in May, as officials have termed New Delhi’s invite “routine practice”.

Official sources confirmed on Wednesday of receiving the Indian invitation but said it was too early to say anything at this stage. “It is a routine matter. India being the current President of the SCO has invited member states. including Pakistan,” said an official, downplaying the significance of the invitation, Express Tribune reported. -IANS

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