'Let me start with you': India's UN envoy shake hands with Pakistan scribes after UNSC meet on Kashmir

After the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meet to discuss Kashmir, Syed Akbaruddin, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, made a symbolic gesture of extending "the hand of friendship" to Pakistani journalists on Friday. This came after a Pakistani journalist complained about lack of dialogue between the two countries.

The gesture was made during a media briefing after the United Nations Security Council held a closed-door meeting to discuss India's move to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir. At his news conference here, he stepped away from the podium and walked up to the senior Pakistani journalist who asked, "When will you begin a dialogue with Pakistan?"

"So let me begin by coming across to you," Akbaruddin told him. "Give me your hand." "Let me tell you we have already extended our hand of friendship by saying we are committed to the Simla agreement," he said. "Let us wait for a response on that from the Pakistani side," he said with a pause.

After the UNSC meet on India revoking the special status accorded to Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, India slammed Pakistan for failing to honour bilateral pacts with India and it needs to stop terror in order to resume peace talks. Hitting back at Pakistan as well as its all-weather ally China, India reiterated that its national position remains that issue is entirely an internal matter of India. The closed-door consultation meet has been called by China at the request of Pakistan. The meeting is open to only five permanent and 10 non-permanent members, and both India and Pakistan are not part of the meeting.

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