Hours after the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement crushing the Pakistani media reports on PM Modi agreeing for talks with Imran Khan, the MEA spokesperson said that India's stand is clear and unchanged.
Briefing the media in the weekly address, MEA official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said:
"Our stand is clear. As per diplomatic protocol, PM answered to the congratulatory messages by Pakistan PM. So did the EAM. As far as talks are concerned, India wants a normal and cooperative relation with other countries but it is necessary that an environment away from terror and violence is to be created to facilitate that. I have clarified it before as well that nothing in that letter is regarding talks between the two nations."
He then called out the fake news propagated by Pakistan:
"There is a constant try from the Pakistani side peddle fake news. I will request you all that you should check from the MEA before playing or believing this news. They want to spread fake news."
Stating India's strong stand against terror, the MEA spokesperson said:
"There is no change in Inida's position. We have made it clear that Pakistan has to take action against terrorism. And it has to be a verifiable step."
Clarifying the controversy earlier in the day, the Ministry of External Affairs had released a statement that the PM only responded to the congratulatory letters as a diplomatic practice. MEA said that PM Modi has highlighted that though India seeks normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours, it is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence, and hostility.
Here's the statement: