India’s Ministry for External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that New Delhi did not approach Pakistan with a dialogue offer, as he rejected claims made by Moeed Yusuf — the prime minister’s aide on national security– in a recent interview with an Indian media outlet.
“The statements made by him [Yusuf] are contrary to facts on the ground, misleading and fictitious. As regards the purported message that was referred to, let me make it clear that no such message was sent from our side,” Srivastava said at a weekly press briefing.
The spokesperson termed the statement “fictitious and misleading”, saying the claim was made by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to “divert attention from domestic failures” and “mislead its domestic constituents by pulling India into headlines on a daily basis”. The Indian official advised Yusuf “to restrict his advice to the establishment and not comment on India’s domestic policies”.
PM’s Special Assistant on National Security Moeed Yusuf gave an interview to The Wire earlier this week, wherein he claimed that India approached Pakistan with a talk offer. This was the first time a Pakistani government official was interviewed by an Indian outlet since New Delhi annexed Kashmir in August last year.
During his interview with Karan Thapar, Yusuf set five pre-conditions for the resumption of “meaningful dialogue” with India to resolve all outstanding issues, including the longstanding dispute of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK).
While he said that Pakistan desired peaceful ties with India and wanted to resolve all issues through dialogue, Yusuf asserted that for any meaningful dialogue to take place between the two neighbours, India has to release all political prisoners in Kashmir, end inhuman blockade and restrictions, rescind domicile law that allows non-Kashmiris to settle in the disputed territory, stop human rights abuses and end state terrorism in Pakistan.
“My message is peace, my message is talk. But there is an intent and there has to be an enabling environment to talk, Karan. Create that and you will find us willing the next day. Just that one step, you will see my prime minister take two – that’s his promise, he stands by it,” Yusuf told journalist Karan Thapar.