Sushma Swaraj says talks and terror won’t go together.
New Delhi: Pakistan cannot take the Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) since the Shimla Accord and Lahore agreement are very clear that the matter has to be settled bilaterally, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday, in response to reports that Pakistan may be planning to move the ICJ to find a solution to the Kashmir issue.
Addressing the media to highlight the achievements of her ministry over three years, Ms Swaraj said that while India wants to resolve all issues through dialogue, dialogue has to be bilateral and terror and talks cannot go together. All of India’s decisions vis-à-vis Pakistan have been consistent with these three principles Ms Swaraj said, adding that there has been “no flip-flop”, nor “a one step forward two steps backward” policy.
Hinting that it cannot be business as usual now with Pakistan, she pointed out that after the Kulbhushan Jadhav incident and terrorist Burhan Wani being eulogised by Islamabad as a martyr, the situation was not what it was when she visited Pakistan in December 2015.
Ms Swaraj also ruled out any formal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organi-sation (SCO) Summit at Astana, Kazakhstan, on June 8-9, saying, “No meeting is scheduled either from their side or from our side.”
At the media conference, Ms Swaraj heaped praise on PM Modi, saying he had exhibited out of the box thinking while accepting an invite from Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to visit Lahore on the occasion of Mr Sharif’s birthday. “But we got Pathankot (in return),” she said.
The minister also said that India was asking other countries not to see terrorism emanating from Pakistan through the prism of India but to see if international terrorism was in anyway linked with that country.
“Finally, where was Osama bin Laden found? In Pakistan,” she said, adding it was time to finalise the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN and define terrorism.
In response to a question, Ms Swaraj said, “There has been no headway in the probe (by Pakistan) on Pathankot.”
Commenting on the case involving former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court following which India petitioned the ICJ, Ms Swaraj referred to the provisional measures ordered by the ICJ that as long as the case filed in the ICJ is not resolved, he can’t be given capital punishment.