Don’t let terror derail peace process with Pakistan: House panel tells govt | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Don’t let terror derail peace process with Pakistan: House panel tells govt

The standing committee on external affairs headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor submitted its report on India-Pakistan relationship to Parliament on Friday.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2017 20:57 IST
Jayanth Jacob
The standing committee on external affairs headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said peace process should not be held hostage to acts of terrorism.
The standing committee on external affairs headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said peace process should not be held hostage to acts of terrorism.(PTI)

The parliamentary panel on external affairs said that peace process with Pakistan should not be held hostage to the acts of terrorism, a position at variance with the NDA government’s stance that terror and talks cannot go together.

The standing committee on external affairs headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor submitted its report on India-Pakistan relationship to Parliament on Friday.

“The committee are of the considered opinion that peace process should not be held hostage to acts of terrorism, and both countries must keep the channels of communication open, even during the worst of crises and let non-state actors and their state sponsors derail or dictate the foreign policy objectives of sovereign,” the committee said.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and BJP’s Varun Gandhi are among the 31 members of the committee.

The peace process with Pakistan has remained fragile after the NDA government came to power 2014, a great deal of it because of the continuing mistrust between the two counties since the 2011 Mumbai terror attack which added to the legacy of suspicion against each other.

Though the then-prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif attended the swearing-in ceremony of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and the latter made an unannounced visit to Lahore residence of Sharif, a series of terrorist attacks ensured the peace process remained suspended.

The parliamentary committee found that the government suspending formal dialogue with Pakistan “owing to national security concerns as justified by compulsions”.

But it urged the administration to make all “appropriate agencies and players” realise the “futility of continued imbroglio”.

The recommendations of the parliamentary panels are not binding on government, but their reports are seen as valuable inputs from legislators on various issues.

The committee called for having a comprehensive national security framework and a coherent strategy towards Pakistan.

“The committee have desired that a comprehensive National Security Framework be worked out after evolving consensus on its various aspects and the ministry of external affairs should play a rightful role in shaping such framework without any further loss of time,” it said.