India is ready for “conditional” bilateral dialogue: Sushma Swaraj

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New Delhi : India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said that her country is ready for dialogue with Pakistan as long as no third country is involved as arbitrator.

Taking a jibe at Pakistan, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that New Delhi doesn’t spend extra time and energy on Islamabad as it just like ‘any other country’.

Addressing a press conference here to highlight her ministry’s three-year- achievements, Swaraj said India is not burning the midnight oil on Pakistan as it has a set a foreign policy for Islamabad.

“India foreign policy for Pakistan is based on three pillars: we want to resolve all bilateral issues through dialogue, dialogue will only be bilateral and terror and talks can’t go simultaneously,” said the External Affairs Minister.

She said India was always ready for bilateral talks when all the three prerequisite conditions of Indian policy towards Pakistan are met.

“India is always ready for the talks. This was evident when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was invited at the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We kept extended hand of friendship for two years. Even, PM Modi took out of the box initiative to fly down to lahore to meet Nawaz Sharif. What did India get in return? Pathankot attack after one week of PM Modi’s visit,” said Swaraj.

The External Affairs Minister bemoned that there was no progress on the the investigation of the Pathankot attack in Pakistan.

On December 25, 2015, Prime Minister Modi had paid a surprise visit to Lahore on Nawaz Sharif on his 66th birthday while he was returning to India from kabul, afghanistan.

On January 2, 2016, six heavily armed terrorists, who entered India from Pakistan on the night of December 30-31, 2015 through Kathua-Gurdaspur border in Punjab, attacked Indian Air Force’s Pathankot Air Force base.

The gun battle and the subsequent combing operation lasted about 17 hours on 2 January, resulting in five attackers and three security personnel dead.

Since then the bilateral relations between two countries have become sour. Pakistan is continuing its age-old policy of continuing cross-border terrorism in India, especially Kashmir Valley.

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