Blaming Islamabad for derailing the talks, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj kept the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Meeting (UNGA), under wraps.
“As situation develops, we will see. Nothing is decided beforehand,” she said in her first formal press briefing as the external affairs minister. Though the minister blamed Pakistan for “derailing” the dialogue process, she said there is “no full stop” in diplomatic relations and people always move forward after short pauses, indicating that there may be a window for resumption of talks in future.
Swaraj also said India expected China to respect its sensitivities on Arunachal, but clarified Modi’s “expansionist” remark in Japan was not directed against China.
Questioning the rationale behind Pakistan holding talks with Kashmiri separatists, she said it was not “too much” to accept from Pakistan that it should not interfere in India’s internal matters.
However, when asked about future strategy in dealing with Pakistan, she said, “There is no full stop in diplomacy; it’s always comas and semi colon. And after all this, people always move forward. There are no full stops in a diplomatic journey.”
On Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, Swaraj said India wants China to “understand and appreciate” its “sensitivities” regarding Arunachal Pradesh as New Delhi respects Beijing’s position on Tibet and Taiwan.
Terming that India has a relationship of “cooperation and competition” with China while making it clear that the recent “expansionist” remark by Modi in Japan did not specifically refer to any country.
“We have very good relationship with China. I must articulate that our relationship is that of cooperation and competition. But when PM Modi met President Xi in Fortaleza, they had very good equation. I think the outcome of this visit will be substantial and solid,” said the minister, who was presenting a report card for the government’s 100 days in office.