The NSA level talks between India and Pakistan have run into rough weather with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj making it amply clear that Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz was welcome in New Delhi if Pakistan could give an assurance by midnight that talks would be confined only to terror.
During a press conference today, Swaraj said that Pakistan took 22 days to respond to India’s call for NSA talks and that if talks were to happen Pakistan should not involve any third party. “Talks with terror cannot happen, but talks on terror are desirable,” said Sushma Swaraj. “If Pakistan does not agree to India’s position, there will be no talks,” added Swaraj.
Here are the top 10 quotes from the Sushma Swaraj press conference:
1. Instead of reducing tensions, Pakistan stepped up terrorism in India, including the Gurdaspur attack, since Ufa talks.
2. India has always maintained that there will be no third party in Indo-Pak talks. Hurriyat cannot be a party.
3. If Pakistan NSA wants to come he is welcome. But talks will only be on terrorism. No scope for expansion of agenda.
4. If Pakistan feels Indian positions are pre-conditions, then there will be no talks.
5. Pakistan is running away from talks which will be held only when we get reply. Time available is only tonight.
6. We always say terror and talks can’t go together, but we also say that for any talks to happen there should be an atmosphere free from terror and violence.
7. In Ufa declaration there was no reference to Kashmir. Respect Shimla accord and Ufa spirit.
8. Pakistan has repeatedly derailed composite dialogue.
9. Talks with terror cannot happen, but talks on terror are desirable.
10. There have been 91 ceasefire violations since Russia talks.