New Delhi: India on Friday asked Pakistan not to remain in a “denial” mode regarding its support to cross- border terrorism as the war of words between the two countries intensified.
In his latest response to his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s fresh invitation of August 19 for talks, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar once again emphasised on the need for earliest possible vacation of Islamabad’s illegal occupation of PoK 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.