Days after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called for talks with Pakistan, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said India cannot hold talks with “countries that have trained their guns at us”.
“…our diplomacy relies on building bridges across the world with dialogue as the sole sustainable method to resolve disputes. We are open to conflicting views but we are not so open to senseless violence and irrational terrorism. We also know that first we must create conditions for a dialogue. We can’t have talks with countries that have trained their guns at us. It is baffling that some educated leaders are suggesting that we have to engage in a dialogue with one of our neighbours who is, by all accounts, fomenting trouble and encouraging cross-border terrorism,” Naidu said.
He was speaking at the release of five books authored by members of Indian Council of World Affairs.
Addressing the Assembly on the last day of Budget session earlier this week, Mehbooba had said: “We have fought three wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and have won all of them, even the Kargil war. But our basic problem has not been resolved. Baatchit ke bina koi hal nahin hai (there is no alternative to talks).”
Naidu said: “We have been the pioneers in the non-aligned movement. Our alignment is with the forces of peace and non-violence. Our central principles have been friendship, respect for all countries and de-escalation of tension. At the same time, we are quite conscious of the fact that India’s love for peace is more out of a concern for the welfare of humanity rather than because we are weak and incapable of fighting.”