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Terror and talks can't go together: Sushma Swaraj on bilateral ties with Pak

Terror and talks can't go together: Sushma Swaraj on bilateral ties with Pak

| | 03 Aug 2017, 08:56 pm
New Delhi, Aug 3 (IBNS): Issuing a statement regarding India's bilateral relationship with Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said terror and talks cannot go together, in an attempt to answer the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

The Opposition on Thursday raised multiple questions to the government regarding India's stand and road map in bilateral relationship with countries, mainly Pakistan and China.

Swaraj said the government has tried to maintain a good friendship with Pakistan but it becomes untenable when terrorism continues on the other hand.

Highlighting the efforts made by the Narendra Modi government to maintain a friendship with Pakistan, the External Affairs minister said: "We tried to make friendship with them (Pakistan). Our Prime Minister even went to wish then Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, on his birthday back in December 25, 2015."

However, Swaraj do not endorse the Pathankot attack as the reason behind the breach in friendship between the two neighbouring countries, which occurred a week after PM Modi's Islamabad visit to wish Sharif.

The Pathankot attack occurred on January 2, 2016. It had attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station.

The minister said that she believes the Burhan Wani encounter became a turning point in the diplomatic relationship between India and Pakistan, when the then Pakistani Prime Minister called Hizbul Mujahideen commander a 'martyr'.

Burhan Muzaffar Wani, was the commander of Kashmir-based militant outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen. He was killed in an encounter with the Indian security forces few months after the Pathankot attack.

But Swaraj stated talks cannot go on with terrorism.

The  Congress also tried to put pressure on the government by raising questions on India's status in the Doklam issue.

Attacking the Opposition, Swaraj stated: "It is shameful that the main opposition party (Congress) sought reports from China regarding the standoff between the two countries on Doklam issue. It is unfortunate that they didn't ask us (India government) for the reports on Doklam."

The ongoing military standoff  has heightened tension at the Bhutan-India-China tri-junction in Doklam, a disputed territory claimed by both Bhutan and China, where the Indian Army personnel have reached to stop China from building a road.

China has accused India of  trespassing into its territory and demanded withdrawal of troops leading to a heated exchange.

While India and Bhutan  say the land belongs to the tiny Himalayan kingdom and that the Indian troops are there at the request of Bhutan, China has warned that it will not accept any dialogue till Indian soldiers pull out from Doklam.

Swaraj explained to the Upper House members how she herself tried to make all political parties aware of the Doklam situation and government's road map towards solving it.

The minister said she explained the roadmap to all opposition parties of the country in two meetings recently. She even said the opposition parties were satisfied with the government's answers to all their queries.

On July 15, assuring that national security will have bigger priority over politics, leading parties have extended their support to the NDA Government's approach to resolve the present border standoff with China amicably and peacefully through diplomatic process.

After the meeting with Swaraj back in mid July, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had said that: "We conveyed our concerns to the Government and proposed diplomacy be employed to ease tensions."

Image: Official Twitter handle of Sushma Swaraj.

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