New Delhi | In no uncertain terms, India today made it clear to Pakistan that if it drags third party into picture and intends to discuss anything beyond terrorism, the National Security Advisor level talks will not happen tomorrow.
India?s terse message to Islamabad was given by External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj barely 24 hours before the scheduled talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his counterpart Sartaj Aziz.
To a question if Pakistan insists on meeting with separatist Kashmiri leaders and stretches the scope of talks beyond terror, what the answer of New Delhi would be, the External Affairs Minister said, ?Toh baatcheet nahi hogi (then talks will not take place).?
Stressing that India was not imposing any precondition, Ms Swaraj said Pakistan should abide by the spirit of Shimla Convention of not bringing any third party into picture in bilateral matters and Ufa understanding reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif to keep the NSA level talks confined to terrorism.
” Sartaj Aziz Saheb is welcome to come India if he keeps away third party out of preview and limits the agenda of talks to terrorism,” she said.
Ms Swaraj asked Pakistan to understand the difference between talks and dialogue as the NSA level talks were agreed upon at Ufa only to create atmosphere for composite dialogue which had started in 1998 during Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime, stopped after Kargil conflict, resumed in 2004, broke down after the Mumbai Mayhem and restored in 2010 with a new name as resumed dialogue.
Ours is a strong political leadership that withstood tremendous pressure from our opponents to call off the talks after Gurdaspur terror strike in which three civilians and four constables were killed and many people injured. We also faced pressure after the Udhampur terror strike that ended in nabbing of their terrorist alive, she said, adding that Pakistan leadership is under pressure to call of the talks on this issue or other ever since the Ufa understanding was reached.
What is the timeline India would be looking for the response from Pakistan, Ms Swaraj said, the date will change at 12 tonight according to English calender,indicating that New Delhi wants an answer today to have the talks tomorrow.
When asked for her comments about Mr Aziz assertions that he would give dossier about what India’s foreign intelligence wing R&AW had been doing in Pakistan during the UN Assembly meeting in New York, Ms Swaraj said, Serious dossiers are not handed over while waling in corridors. So far as our dossier is concerned, we can produce Jeeta Jagta Pakistani aatanki (Pakistani terrorist alive) before them.
The External Affairs Minister said Pakistan was trying to run away from talks as its leadership was unable to face the criticism it attracted ever since the Prime Ministers of the two countries agreed to initiate talks to end terror, firing on the International border and ceasefire violations on the Line of Control.
We agreed in written as entire world saw it on camera when the foreign secretaries of the countries read out the Ufa understanding, which clearly said the NSAs of the two sides will discuss terrorism to end violence so that an atmosphere is created for the composite dialogue, she said.
Ms Swaraj gave a run down of events after the Ufa understanding to draw home the point that Pakistan was reluctant to talks as it had taken 22 days to respond to India’s proposal of dates for the NSA meeting in New Delhi.
According to Ufa understanding, DG BSF and DG Pakistan Rangers as well as DGMOs (Director General of Military Operations) were also to meet to discuss ceasefire violations. We had asked them for a possible dates for the two meetings. They did not propose dates for DGMO level talks and suggested a date in September for DG BSF meet, she said.
When asked whether she feels allowing a meeting between Hurriyat leaders and Pakistani President General Parvez Musharraf was a mistake, she said, Jo beet gayee so beet gayee, (past is past).
Repeated being asked as what kind of message India was sending across the border, she said, You are free to phrase it in your words, I said, whatever I had to say.
Again being asked if Islamabad insists on meeting with Hurriyat leaders and discussing Kashmir, she said, I answered this in Hindi and I will repeat it for you in English…talks will not happen.
Asked if this would be the end of dialogue, Ms Swaraj responded in chaste Hindi, Bharat aur Pakistan ke rishton ki gadi gaddhon wali sadak par chalti hai. Kabhi esski kamani toot jaati hai, kabhi puncture ho jaati hai. Marrummat hokar phir chalne lagati hai ( Motor of India-Pakistan relations is runs on a road that is full of potholes, sometime axle breaks down, sometime it get punctured, we repair it, try to run it again.
Then reminding her own remarks she said, I once said that there is no full stop in diplomacy, only commas and semicolons are there.
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