‘Give up terror’ if you want talks with India, Pakistan told
United Nations, Oct 2 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday that India was ready for a dialogue with Pakistan based on just one point, “give up terror,” and will address all outstanding issues if it gets a positive response.
Responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s four-point peace initiative, Swaraj said, “We do not need four points, we need just one – give up terrorism and let us sit down and talk.”
Addressing the General Assembly in Hindi, Swaraj said the international community should make countries aiding, arming and protecting terrorists pay a heavy price.
Speaking of “the challenges that we face in our ties with Pakistan,” Swaraj referred to the terrorism threat from it and the impunity it grants terrorists like the matermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
“None of us can accept that terrorism is a legitimate instrument of statecraft,” she said. “The world shared our outrage at the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which citizens of many nations were helplessly butchered. That the mastermind behind the attack is walking free is an affront to the entire international community.”
“Not only have past assurances in this regard not been honoured but new cross-border terrorist attacks have taken place recently, in which two terrorists from across the border have also been captured alive,” she added.
“We all know that these attacks are meant to destabilize India and legitimize Pakistan’s illegal occupation of parts of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and its claim on the rest of it.”
The world should have a zero tolerance for terrorism, Swaraj said, adding: “The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism can no longer be held up. Nor can we be held hostage by seeking to define terrorism when the General Assembly in 2006 adopted the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy unanimously.”
“Member states must undertake their obligations to investigate and prosecute those who are alleged to have supported terrorism,” she said.
Giving up terrorism “was precisely what was discussed and decided by the two prime ministers at Ufa this July,” Swaraj said. “Let us hold talks at the level of NSAs (National Security Advisers) on all issues connected to terrorism and an early meeting of our Directors General of Military Operations to address the situation on the border.”