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Peace possible only when Pak realises cross-border terrorism hurting ties: India

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar emphasised on the need for Islamabad to clear its illegal occupation of PoK at the earliest possible.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2016 20:54 IST
PTI
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar with Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit at the ministry of foreign affairs in New Delhi.
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar with Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit at the ministry of foreign affairs in New Delhi.(HT file photo)

Intensifying the war of words, India on Friday asked Pakistan not to remain in a “denial” mode regarding its support to cross- border terrorism.

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar, in the latest response to his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s fresh invitation of August 19 for talks, once again emphasised on the need for Islamabad to clear its illegal occupation of PoK at the earliest possible and conveyed that not just India but the larger region is aware that Pakistan is actually a “prime perpetrator” of terrorism.

The foreign secretary has made it clear that India seeks result-oriented talks with Pakistan with an agenda to put an end to cross-border terrorism and incitement to violence by it, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Jaishankar while conveying his readiness to be available to engage any time at mutual convenience on these issues, however, mentioned that justifying terrorism and interference in the internal affairs of India are hardly serious basis for a result-oriented dialogue.

Asked about absence of the finance minister from the ongoing Saarc meet, indicating the growing strain in relationship, Swarup said, “Providing support, safe havens and sanctuary to terrorists and making the distinction between good terrorist and bad terrorist has posed enormous risk to peace and stability to our region.

“It is important for Pakistan to realise the reality and not remain in denial on the impact of cross-border terrorism on the bilateral relationship. Sooner Pakistan recognises this central and important fact, the sooner, India-Pakistan relationship can progress.”

In the letter, the foreign secretary hoped that the government of Pakistan will reconsider its approach and show sincerity towards promoting good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence.

“This will also send a larger message to a region which is deeply troubled by the policies that emanate from Pakistan,” Jaishankar’s letter said.

The foreign secretary has also reiterated that basis of further discussions between the two countries are -Simla Agreement of 1972, Lahore Declaration of 1999 and Joint statement of 2004, Swarup added.

On its part, adviser to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, while briefing the ambassadors of the P-5 and European Union countries in Islamabad about the situation in the Valley, “regretted” India’s virtual rejection of its proposal for talks on Kashmir.

At his meeting with the ambassadors, Aziz “deplored the lethal use of force by the Indian forces against the innocent Kashmiri people and conveyed serious concerns over the bloodshed” in Kashmir which has taken a “toll of more than 80 innocent Kashmiris since July 8, 2016, and inflicted injuries on more than 7,000 people,” the Pakistan foreign office statement said.

On the UN’s statement on Dawood Ibrahim’s address, the spokesperson said this information about the international terrorist is the result of latest updating of records pertaining to him by UN’s 1267 Committee monitoring team which periodically updates the record of the global terrorists on its database.

He added that Dawood continues to remain on the designated list as a global terrorist; the 1267 monitoring committee continues to retain his Pakistani passport as a valid document; the UN has also confirmed that he resides in and has properties in Pakistan; and that the UN continues to keep a regular watch on him.

Besides the fact that his Pakistan addresses have been verified, some other record have also been updated as result of info provided by India such as his wife’s name, father’s name and several of his aliases.

“India continues to maintain that it is incumbent upon Pakistan to extradite this global terrorist to whom they have provided sanctuary for a very long period of time to face justice for his many crimes. We hope Pakistan will heed international opinion on this issue,” he added.

Asked whether India will raise the issue of Balochistan at the UNGA or UNHRC, Swarup remained non-committal, saying “India has a strong human rights record at home and we are naturally concerned of gross violations of human rights in the region you have referred to. How this is expressed in our diplomacy is something that you will have to wait and see.”