Ensure ‘conducive’ environment for further talks: India to Pakistan

Days after Pakistan had held talks with India, Gen. V.K. Singh had said, that for further talks to be held, the government urged Pakistan to have a more ‘conducive’ environment for interactions in the future. India made it clear that for talks with Pakistan to go ahead, there has to be a ‘conducive environment and atmosphere free of terror and free of terrorists’ and the initiative of cooperation has to also come from the other country.

“Our stand remains the same. We have always maintained that for the talks to go ahead there should be a conducive environment and atmosphere. And that environment has to be created which is free of terrorism and free of terrorists getting support from Pakistan,” said Raveesh Kumar. Responding a question about South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Kumar said it is ‘one country’ that needs to create conditions where such talks will have meaning and will be successful.

This statement was produced days before Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers are expected to hold an interaction during the United Nations  General Assembly (UNGA) session which will begin by the end of this week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made it clear during his previous addresses that India’s expectations from Islamabad, when he had urged in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, upon his election that he should ‘help foster a terrorism-free South Asia’ and the initiative has to come from Pakistan.

Pakistan and India had previously announced the recommencement of bilateral talks under the bilateral dialogue format during the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad in December 2015.

But, the dialogue came to a halt after the Pathankot terror attack in 2016 for which India blames Pakistan for not keeping the terror out of the equation. On one hand, Islamabad denies the allegation which India doesn’t agree. Thus, Pakistan and India have been on edge since then.

“Pakistan’s Army, government and people want peace with India…In his first speech after victory, PM Imran Khan had said that we will take two steps if India takes one,” said Pakistan’s Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry.

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