Let's talk terror, not Kashmir: India to Pak

Let's talk terror, not Kashmir: India to Pak

Let's talk terror, not Kashmir: India to Pak

India on Wednesday said Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is ready to travel to Islamabad for a dialogue, but talks will have to focus on issues related to cross-border terrorism.

New Delhi has also made it clear to Islamabad that Pakistan has no locus standi in addressing any aspect of the (prevailing) situation in Jammu & Kashmir, which is India’s internal matter. The only action excepted from Pakistan is to put an end to cross-border terrorism and infiltration.

“Since aspects related to cross-border terrorism are central to the current situation in Jammu & Kashmir, we have proposed that discussions between the foreign secretaries focus on them. We have also conveyed that the Government of India rejects in their entirety the self-serving allegations regarding the situation in J&K, which is an integral part of India,” a source said on India’s response to Pakistan’s proposal.

The response from the Indian side comes in the wake of Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s invitation to Jaishankar to hold a discussion on Jammu & Kashmir, claiming that Kashmir is an “international obligation” for both the nations.

India’s retort was conveyed to the Pakistan’s Foreign Office by Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawala. The provocative proposal from across the border comes at a time when there are growing tensions between the neighbours.

Defence ministry sources pointed out that activities across the Line of Control were higher this time as the number of infiltration attempts and the terrorists killed went up in the last six to eight months when compared to the corresponding period in 2015.

“All parameters are on the rise,” said an army official. “India would welcome a dialogue on contemporary and relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations. At this time they include a stoppage of Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism, infiltration of terrorists like Bahadur Ali,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.

Other relevant issues would include incitement to violence and terrorism across the border, parading of internationally recognised terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, and sincere follow up on the Mumbai attack trial and the Pathankot attack investigation in Pakistan.

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