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FM Bilawal rules out option of dialogue with India?

FM Bilawal called Indian behavior as hostile and aggressive while rejecting possibility of talks.

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Pakistan’s new foreign minister said Thursday there was little scope for dialogue with India as he denounced actions by the historic rival in divided Kashmir.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, visiting the United Nations weeks after his appointment under a new government, said it was difficult to deal with a country that is “implementing a racist policy in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Having said that, we are very cognizant of the fact that economic activity, dialogue, diplomacy are ultimately the ways and means for countries to engage with each other and resolve disputes,” he told reporters.

“I just note that, particularly at the moment, given this aggressive, hostile behavior, the practical space for that happening is very limited,” he said.

Read more: Clashes in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir after death of minority Hindu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government in 2019 stripped the special status of Kashmir, which has a Muslim majority but a large and historic Hindu minority population.

Bhutto Zardari, the 33-year-old son of a famous political dynasty, also complained about India’s recent redrawing of electoral constituencies that critics say dilutes Muslims’ vote in the Himalayan territory partially controlled by Pakistan.

Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan in 2015, a year after taking office, but relations have plunged in recent years.

Analysts say that India is hoping for more pragmatic steps with Pakistan’s new prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, whose own political family has a history of being able to deal diplomatically with India.

But India described an exchange of letters between Modi and Sharif as a diplomatic courtesy and insisted that Pakistan stop supporting “cross-border terrorism.”

Read more: Ilhan Omar to raise Kashmir issue at Congress

Bhutto was visiting the United Nations for a meeting on food security and met on the sidelines Wednesday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk