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Sushma rubbishes Pak's UFA claim, lobs ball back in their court

Talks will only be on terror, with no Hurriyat involvement; if Pak agrees, they are welcome

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Sushma Swaraj
Sushma Swaraj

Launching a frontal attack on Pakistan Security Advisor, Sartaj Aziz, Indian external affairs minister, said that not every Indo-Pakistan interaction could be called a bilateral dialogue.

She drew attention to the fact that the first composite dialogue, which was initiated between the two nations in 1998, embraced an eight point agenda of which Kashmir was just one component. Some of the other points were Siachen Glacier, Sir Creek and terrorism and drug trafficking among others.

She took a dig at Islamabad saying that when then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to Lahore on a peace mission in 1998, he only got Kargil in return.

Swaraj claimed that Aziz was misinterpreting the Ufa agreement and categorically denied that the NSA level talks were about Kashmir. She said that they were in fact about curbing terrorism and violence as a precusor to the composite talks.

At Ufa, there was no talk of composite dialogue, Swaraj asserted, and claimed that Pakistan was looking for ways to wriggle out of talks, Added that the Ufa pact was on NSA talks, and that the DGMOs were to meet

Asserting that productive talks can take place in an environment free of terror and violence, the minister was emphatic that the talks will only be on terrorism, with no Hurriyat involvement, and in the spirit of the Simla Agreement and the Ufa statement. Swaraj minced no words in saying that if Pakistan agrees to this condition, it is welcome. If it is not, there will be no talks. Her stance sent a clear signal to Islamabad that there is absolutely no scope for any discussion on Kashmir at the NSA-level talks.

Swaraj also challenged Islamabad to give New Delhi the dossier it was talking about. She quipped that India would give then live evidence in the form of Naved. "Let them come first," she said.

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First Published: Sat, August 22 2015. 16:45 IST