Centre should assess if talks with Pakistan can resume, says House panel | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Centre should assess if talks with Pakistan can resume, says House panel

ByNeeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
Feb 07, 2024 09:24 AM IST

The recommendation of panel comes two days before Pakistan’s general elections, with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif leading the race. Sharif has advocated for good relations with India, praising the country’s progress.

India should regularly assess whether the situation is conducive for resumption of high-level talks with Pakistan, a parliamentary panel has said, asking the government to also continue diplomatic efforts to expose the nefarious activities of Pakistan and its links with various terrorist outfits.

The home ministry told the panel that the Indian government had raised the issue of cross-border terrorism sponsored from across the border with the government of Pakistan, when the two countries were talking. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The home ministry told the panel that the Indian government had raised the issue of cross-border terrorism sponsored from across the border with the government of Pakistan, when the two countries were talking. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In its report on countering global terrorism that was tabled in the Parliament on Monday, the parliamentary committee on external affairs, chaired by BJP leader PP Chaudhary, said, “the government should make regular assessment on whether the situation is conducive for resumption of high-level interaction with the Pakistan government and take steps accordingly”.

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There has been no high-level interaction between New Delhi and Islamabad in the last three years, particularly in the wake of February 2019 Pulwama attack, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) informed the panel that “the last home secretary level talks between India and Pakistan were held in the year 2011”.

The recommendation of panel comes two days before Pakistan’s general elections, with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif leading the race. Sharif has advocated for good relations with India, praising the country’s progress.

“Nawaz Sharif has been a strong proponent of normalisation with India. One of the reasons he last fell out with the Army was his engagement with India, which was viewed by the military with suspicion. However, this time he may find support from the Army as well for managing tensions, especially in view of the difficult economic situation through which the country is passing. That support will nevertheless have its limits because of military’s inherent limitations vis a vis relationship with India,” Baqir Sajjad, a journalist with Dawn, a Pakistan daily, said.

The panel also weighed in on Islamabad’s support of terrorism. “The committee desires that the government should keep up its diplomatic efforts to expose the nefarious activities of Pakistan and its links with various terrorist outfits at every fora while strengthening its land borders and sea routes to prevent terrorist infiltration”.

The home ministry told the panel that the Indian government had raised the issue of cross-border terrorism sponsored from across the border with the government of Pakistan, when the two countries were talking.

“Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has close links with terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e- Mohammad (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Indian Mujahideen (IM), etc. and provides them safe havens, material support, finance and other logistics to carry out terrorist activities in India,” the MHA deposed before the panel, according to the report.

MHA added that the Indian government also continued to consistently raise the issue of Pakistan’s continuing support to cross-border terrorism and terrorist infiltration at the bilateral, regional and multilateral level.

The government also conveyed to the panel that India has exposed Pakistan’s support to terrorism at international level including at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). “As a result of India’s persistent efforts, there is enhanced concern in the international community at terrorism emanating from Pakistan including the continuing activities of internationally designated terrorist entities such as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Hizbul Mujahideen, etc,” the report says, quoting government’s response.

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