Declaring that “war is not an option”, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday it had decided to hold dialogue with Pakistan as it is the only way to remove “the shadow of terrorism”.
Speaking in Lok Sabha, Swaraj said India and Pakistan had decided to hold talks on terror when the prime ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif met in Ufa (Russia) in July and then in Paris recently.
“We said we can talk so that terrorism comes to an end. So talks (between NSAs) took place in Bangkok, where we discussed about terrorism. But one meeting will not bring a solution to all the problem. So we will continue the dialogue,” she said during the Question Hour.
When BJP member Ganesh Singh asked if India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Swaraj said India is talking to Pakistan on the terrorist camps existing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “war is not an option”.
“We have decided that through talks, we will resolve the issue of terrorism as talks is the way forward so that the shadow of terror is removed. But we want to make it clear, our Prime Minister has made it clear that talks and terror can’t go together. Dialogue is drowned by the sound of explosion,” she said.
In a recent development, India decided to re-start ‘Comprehensive’ dialogue with Pakistan under which various subjects -- including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir -- will be discussed.
Prime Minister Modi believed there was a need for talks to resolve the issue of terrorism, said Swaraj.
“The Prime Minister said ‘Let’s talk on terror’. For talks we will have to put in faith. There is no third party. Through talks, both the countries are trying to resolve the issue of terrorism,” she said.
Swaraj also said national security advisers of both nations met in Bangkok on December 6 following PM Modi’s conversation with Sharif on the sidelines of Paris climate change summit and in line with the Ufa understanding.
“They held candid and constructive discussions. During my recent visit to Pakistan on December 8-9, the two sides decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial,” she said.