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Onus on Pak to create conducive atmosphere for dialogue: India

New Delhi, Aug 01: The government of India (GoI) Wednesday said any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can only be held in “an atmosphere free from terror” and asserted that the onus was on Islamabad to create such a “conducive atmosphere”.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said “continued cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan remains a core concern for India”.

“Pakistan has also been asked to take effective actions to end terrorism and dismantle terrorist sanctuaries and infrastructure on the territory under its control. Until such time, India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism,” he said.

“The government desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally and peacefully in accordance with the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration,” he said.

“However, any meaningful dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free from terror, hostility and violence. The onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere,” Singh said.

To another question on whether neighbouring countries “have illegally encroached upon Indian territories”, Singh said “Pakistan has been in illegal occupation of approximately 78,000 sq km of Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“China has been in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq km in Jammu and Kashmir, since 1962. In addition, under the so-called China-Pakistan ‘Boundary Agreement’ signed between China and Pakistan on March 2, 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq km of Indian territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China,” he said.

“There is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the border areas between India and China. From time to time, on account of the differences in the perception of the LAC, situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the LAC,” Singh said.


Imran invites Aamir, Kapil, Gavaskar to oath ceremony

Islamabad, Aug 01: Pakistan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan has invited Bollywood star Aamir Khan and : former cricketers Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar to his oath-taking ceremony on August 11, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced on Wednesday.

The development came after PTI leaders met Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua to discuss which foreign dignitaries could be invited to the PTI chief’s ceremony, leading daily Dawn reported.

Earlier reports said the PTI wished to invite the heads of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) member states including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as China and Turkey. But the party rubbished the reports.

According to Dawn, members of the Pakistan Foreign Office said that calling foreign leaders to the oath taking was “a sensitive matter” and all perspectives needed to be taken into consideration.

On Tuesday, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said they would consult the Foreign Office regarding inviting foreign leaders.

“Media speculations about international dignitaries attending PM oath ceremony are not correct. We have sought the advice of Foreign Office on the matter and will decide accordingly,” he had tweeted.

Khan’s PTI emerged as the single largest party in the country’s National Assembly after the July 25 election. However, it is short of numbers to form its government independently.

It is now reaching out to smaller political parties and independent candidates for support to form a coalition government. But it is more or less clear that Khan is all set to become the Prime Minister.