Amid growing protests to ban Pakistani artistes and sportsperson, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Saturday said art and sports should be kept outside political conflicts. “We should rise above, and treat art and sports as what they are,” Yechury told news agency ANI adding that action should be taken against an artist or sportsman only if there is “specific information” suggesting that they are trying to do something against the country.
On the India-Pakistan tension, Yechury said his party believes that there should be no further escalation. Speaking to news agency ANI, Yechury said, “We think that there should be no further escalation.” Suggesting diplomatic talks, the veteran leader also said, “India at position of strength should initiative political and diplomatic move with Pakistan to eliminate scourge of cross-border terrorism.” He also mentioned that Pakistan’s interest in seeking closer closer defence cooperation with United States could be a “serious situation.”
“After India became USA’s strategic defence partner, now Pakistan negotiating closer defence co-operation with USA; serious situation developing,” said Yechury. Adding that India’s stature as an “independent country” was being “severely compromised”, he said, “This is the first time that an Indian Prime Minister didn’t attend NAM summit.”
On Wednesday, India carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC). Director General of Military Operations Lt General Ranbir Singh had said, “Significant casualties have been caused to terrorists and those trying to shield them. We don’t have a plan to further conduct such strikes. India has spoken to Pakistan.” The strike came days after Pakistan-based terrorists attacked the Indian Army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir resulting in the death of 20 jawans.
Taking cognizance of the worsening diplomatic relations between the two neighbouring countries, United Nations General Secrtary Ban ki-Moon offered to act as a mediator between the two countries so that the ongoing disputes could be resolved. Ban appealed the countries to “exercise maximum restraint” in taking decisions. He also said his good offices are available, “if accepted by both sides.”
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