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Sushma Swaraj snubs Pakistan, says no formal talks till terror remains an issue

Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2018 (13:00 IST)
Hyderabad: On a day the groundbreaking ceremony is to be held, External Affairs Minister on Wednesday snubbed Islamabad saying there can be no formal dialogues between two neighbours unless there is a halt to terrorist activities in India by Pakistan.
 
Sushma Swaraj snubs Pakistan, says no formal talks till terror remains an issue
“Until and unless Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India there will be no dialogue and we will not participate,” Ms Swaraj told reporters at Hyderabad.
 
She said developments related to Kartarpur Corridor cannot be linked to reviving the stalled talks between India and Pakistan.
 
Answering questions, Ms Swaraj said she herself has favoured and had herself visited Pakistan but lamented in the same breadth that the response from the western neighbour came in the form of attack in Uri and Pathankot.
 
“I has already visited Pakistan and it was me only who started the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, but what happened after that Pathankot, what happened after that Uri,” she said.
 
“So, there is need to look at the big picture.....,” she said adding “Until and unless Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India there will be no dialogue”.
 
“It (Kartarpur Corridor development) does not mean the bilateral dialogue will start because of this. Terror and talks cannot go together,” said Ms Swaraj, who skipped the Kartarpur function in Pakistan on Wednesday as she had prior commitment for election campaign in poll-bound Telangana.
 
She said to facilitate travel of Sikh pilgrims, for many years the Indian Government has been asking for the Kartarpur) corridor and added that “only now Pakistan responded positively”.
 
But, she maintained, this agreement on the corridor does not mean that the stalled dialogue between India and Pakistan can commence yet again.
 
She was also critical of party’s stance on the Kartarpur corridor - wherein the state Chief Minister (Punjab) Capt Amarinder Singh has declined to travel to Pakistan on the issue of terrorism and martyrdom of Indian soldiers, but his minister Navjot Singh Sidhu would be there on ‘personal capacity’.
 
“I think there is an inherent contradiction on what Congress has said. I had prior commitment about Telangana campaign. So it was a personal reason and hence we deputed two other ministers. But the Chief Minister has said Pakistan is spreading terrorism. He also blamed ISI for a recent terror attack. So, the Chief Minister is not going, but his Minister is going, there is a contradiction in it,” Ms Swaraj said. (UNI)
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