Modi voiced India's core concern on Pak: Govt

Islamabad denial not to drive away Delhi's concern

The war of words between India and Pakistan intensified on Wednesday ahead of the foreign secretary-level meeting scheduled on August 25, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Pakistan of waging ‘proxy war’ across the border.

India hit back at Pakistan’s characterisation on Wednesday of Modi’s remark as ‘baseless rhetoric’ saying the prime minister articulated the “core concern” of its relationship with the neighbouring country.

“Terrorism is a real and present danger for us. The prime minister was articulating what is for us the core concern in our relation with Pakistan. Mere denials or selective approaches towards terrorism are not going to drive away our concerns,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told journalists in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Citing the Dec 2001 attack on Indian Parliament and the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the spokesperson said some of the worst terrorist attacks on India have their genesis either in Pakistan or territories under its control, which vindicatesIndia’s concerns.

Asked if the proposed meeting between Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and her Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry would take place as scheduled on August 25 in Islamabad, Akbaruddin said the top diplomats would meet to look at the way forward in bilateral ties as agreed by the prime ministers of the two countries on May 27. 

Addressing the Army and Air Force personnel at Leh in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, the prime minister said that the neighbouring country had lost strength to fight a conventional war, but continued to engage in the “proxy war of terrorism”.
He added that India had lost more soldiers while combating terrorism emanating from Pakistan than in conventional wars.

“India will in any case address its concerns on terrorism through all means available to us. Our tool kit is not restricted in any manner,” said the MEA spokesperson. Modi’s tough talk prompted a sharp response from Pakistan.

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