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Open to dialogue with Pakistan, but terror and talks can’t go together: Swaraj

Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj reiterated on Monday that India is ready for talks with Pakistan, provided the neighbouring country gives up support to terrorists trying to destabilise India.

india Updated: May 28, 2018 16:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pakistan,terrorism,Sushma Swaraj
Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was addressing media personnel on the completion of four years of the Narendra Modi government and released a book on the achievements of her ministry along with junior ministers VK Singh and MJ Akbar.(Twitter/ANI)

India is ready for talks with Pakistan if it stops supporting terrorists, said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday.

“We are ready for talks. We have never said that we are not ready for talks. But there’s a caveat. Terror and talks don’t go together,” said Swaraj in Delhi at a press conference.

“This caveat has never been altered. If the border is volatile, then talks are difficult. Terror and talks don’t go together but talks on terror should go on,” she said when asked if India will negotiate with Pakistan at the highest levels.

Swaraj also responded to a question on Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan Order 2018, which reportedly alters the status of the region and allows the country to exercise administrative authority on the disputed region.

“The answer we got in response of what happened with the Gilgit Baltistan Order is laughable. They tried to teach us history. Pakistan always distorts history and doesn’t believe in law. The only thing I felt while reading their answer was, ‘look who’s talking,’” she said.

Swaraj was addressing media personnel on the completion of four years of the Narendra Modi government and released a book on the achievements of her ministry.

Listing the achievements of the government, she said, “I was surprised to hear that there were so many countries that our leaders didn’t go to. When we formed our government, we thought that we will cover all the 192 countries part of the United Nations, for ministerial level talks. And we have covered 186 countries already.”

“Some 90,000 people from the Indian community have been rescued from various places. In his visits to many countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has saved many people from severe punishments. Today, Indians living overseas are living peacefully,” Swaraj said.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: May 28, 2018 16:13 IST