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For talks, Pak must first stop ‘aiding terror’: Swaraj

New Delhi, May 28: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said India was ready for talks with Pakistan if it stopped “aiding terrorism.”

“We are always ready for talks with Pakistan. We have never said we are not ready for talks. But there is a caveat. Terror and talks don’t go together,” the minister said while addressing a press conference at the completion of four years in power of the Narendra Modi-led government.

“Jab seema par janaze uth rahe hon, to baatcheet ki awaaz acchi nahi lagti (when people are dying on the border, talk of dialogue is not appropriate,” she added.

She was replying to a question on whether India-Pakistan talks can take place after the general elections there.

However, she admitted that the NSAs of India and Pakistan meet to hold “talks on terror”.

The minister also hit out at Pakistan over its “Gilgit Baltistan Order 2018” relating to administrative control over Gilgit-Baltistan, saying Pakistan always “distorts history”.

“Pakistan tries to teach us history and geography. It is one country which does not believe in rule of law and I would just say one thing to their answer ‘look who’s talking’, Swaraj asserted.

Pakistan’s Cabinet on May 21 approved Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 which was also endorsed by the assembly of the region. The order is being seen as Islamabad’s efforts towards incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province.

India Sunday summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over Islamabad’s latest move, saying any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under its “forcible and illegal occupation” has no legal basis.

On Monday Pakistan termed India’s claim over Jammu and Kashmir as “spurious” and said it contradicts everything from history to the situation on the ground.


PDP appeals Pak, Hurriyat to reciprocate

Srinagar, May 28: PDP Vice President Mohammad Sartaj Madni has said that involvement of Pakistan and Hurriyat in resolving the Kashmir problem can become a reality soon and expressed hope that both will respond to New Delhi’s offer and help relieve people of the subcontinent from agonies and suffering.

Addressing a public gathering at Kulgam he said Indo-Pak confrontation and perpetual insurgency have wrought havoc and people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered the worst. Madni said it was a tragedy repeating that an effective process the Vajpayee- Musharaf initiative set in motion ending hostilities in 2002 was brought to a halt after successful start. The results are for everyone to see.

He said there is a cold war situation perpetuated.

“Indo-Pak borders are witness to displacements and deaths. Hinterlands of the state are wrapped in anger and violence. A dismayed generation is in a defying state. In such a scenario no stake holder can and should run away from owning responsibility to contribute to ice- breaking for peace and resolution,” he said.

Madni said PDP leadership has been consistent in their effort to create conducive atmosphere for dialogue at various levels.

“Present leadership is doing its best to plead for sustainable moves which could help engage all concerned into a meaningful activity for peace and reconciliation. He said agenda of alliance is an open evidence of what PDP stands for,” he said.

Madni said despite difficulties PDP has not fallen short of its resolve to persuade all stake holders for a movement forward on problem resolutions.

“Mehboobaji made an offer of dialogue on her own exhibiting her intentions and approach. Unfortunately no one responded. State suffered as a result immensely,” he said.

He said she continued to exhort upon New Delhi the meaning of dialogue for people of the state and people of the sub-continent.

He appealed the civil society and youth of Kashmir to come forward at this critical juncture and help create a common ground for peace and resolution.

“It is our obligation to facilitate the Indo-Pak friendship which can serve our interest and interest of sub-continent,” he said.