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'No Backchannel Talks' With India, Islamabad Says

© AP Photo / Channi AnandIndian army soldiers patrol at the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan border in Poonch, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) from Jammu, India
Indian army soldiers patrol at the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan border in Poonch, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) from Jammu, India - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.01.2023
Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with Delhi after India stripped the contested state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status in 2019.
Pakistan has dispelled rumors that talks have taken place with India since the Shehbaz Sharif-led government came to power in April 2022.
Junior Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's remarks on Thursday came amid suggestions of a thaw between the neighboring states. Several Indian publications recently suggested that Delhi sent out invitations to Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial to take part in the meeting of foreign ministers and chief justices of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa in May this year.

"At this moment, there is no such thing underway," Khar said while addressing lawmakers in the Pakistani Senate in Islamabad.

Khar's statement was also reiterated by the country's Foreign Office: "there is no backchannel diplomacy between India and Pakistan," spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch told reporters.
Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.01.2023
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Pakistan PM Seeks UAE Mediation for ‘Sincere’ Talks With India
Baloch went on to confirm that Bhutto has been invited to attend the SCO event.
"Both India and Pakistan are members of the SCO. India is hosting the conference this year and as the chairman, it has sent an invitation to us," she said. "The invitation is being reviewed. A decision regarding participation in the meeting will be taken after deliberation."
Earlier this month, Pakistan premier Shehbaz Sharif sought help from the UAE to initiate "sincere" talks with India.
"My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir," Sharif said in an interview with a Dubai-based media outlet.
The Pakistan PM said that he raised Islamabad-Delhi relations with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during his recent meeting, calling the Emirati leader a "brother" to Pakistan and noting that the UAE enjoys good relations with India.