Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Posted at: Nov 28, 2018, 12:44 PM; last updated: Nov 28, 2018, 6:44 PM (IST)

No talks, no SAARC for us till Pak stops terror: Sushma

Naveen Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, November 28

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to Pakistan for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) regional grouping summit to be hosted in that country. 

Swaraj is in Telangana to campaign for the BJP and was talking to the media here.

"When we receive an invite, we are not responding to it since Pakistan has not stopped terror activities on Indian soil, There will be no dialogue till Pakistan stops terrorist activity here and we will not participate in SAARC," Swaraj said.

Apparently in an aggressive mood with regard to India's western neighbour, she snubbed Pakistan when asked why she did not go to Pakistan for the foundation stone laying for the Kartarpur corridor by Prime Minister Imran Khan. She repeated there would be no dialogue with till terror promoted against India from Pakistan soil stops.

She went on to say that the Kartarpur corridor should not be linked to talks withPakistan. "I personally favour talks for resolution of any problem, but stopping of terrorist activity is a prerequisite for any talks. I myself went to Pakistan to extend a hand of friendship, but Pakistan responded with the Uri (attack on security forces in north Kashmir) and Pathankot (Punjab) attacks. Terror and talks cannot go together," she asserted.

The Foreign Minister said the Kartarpur corridor was a long pending demand of the Sikhs that was taken up with Pakistan many times. But it was only now thatPakistan had responded positively. Swaraj did not leave any opportunity to take a dig at the Congress government in Punjab by saying the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has refused the invite to go to Pakistan (citing attack on Indian soldiers by Pakistan agencies), but his junior minister Navjot Sidhu has accepted the invitation. "There is an inherent contradiction in the Congress stand on the issue."

The gurdwara at Kartarpur close to the India-Pakistan border close to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district is where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life.

She also announced that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government would bring a bill in the coming winter session of the Parliament as part of its efforts to check the menace of NRI husbands abandoning their wives. She said, "We have already launched an institutional mechanism, where you must have seen that 25 passports of such NRI husbands have been revoked. We are also bringing a bill in this session where some more measures are being taken against those husbands."


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