There cannot be any comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan till it shuns terrorism, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday, asserting talks were not appropriate while people are dying on the border.
“We are always ready for talks with Pakistan but with a caveat that terror and talks cannot go together... There cannot be a comprehensive dialogue till Pakistan shuns terror,” the minister said while addressing a press conference at the completion of four years in power of the Narendra Modi-led government.
“Jab seema par janaze uth rahe hon, to baatcheet ki awaaz acchi nahi lagti (when people are dying on the border, talk of dialogue is not appropriate,” she added.
She was replying to a question on whether India-Pakistan talks can take place after the general elections there.
However, she admitted that the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan meet to hold “talks on terror”.
The minister also hit out at Pakistan over its “Gilgit Baltistan Order 2018” relating to administrative control over Gilgit-Baltistan, saying Pakistan always “distorts history”.
“Pakistan tries to teach us history and geography. It is one country which does not believe in rule of law and I would just say one thing to their answer ‘look who’s talking,” Swaraj asserted.
Pakistan’s cabinet on May 21 approved Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 which was also endorsed by the assembly of the region. The order is being seen as Islamabad’s efforts towards incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province.
India on Sunday summoned Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over Islamabad’s latest move, saying any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under its “forcible and illegal occupation” has no legal basis.
Pakistan on Monday termed India’s claim over Jammu and Kashmir as “spurious” and said it contradicts everything from history to the situation on the ground.