Saturday, July 13, 2024

When people are dying on the border, dialogue is not appropriate : EAM

New Delhi: There cannot be any comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan till it shuns terrorism, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday, asserting talks were not appropriate while people are dying on the border.

“We are ready for talks. But there’s a caveat — terror and talks cannot go together. This has always been our position,” Ms Swaraj told reporters in New Delhi.

She was asked whether India was softening its position on Pakistan with a maritime dialogue taking place in Delhi today. Last year, the same talks were called off by India due to tensions over Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav. Both countries also restarted a track-two dialogue last month.

But the foreign minister insisted there was no fundamental change in policy. “When the border is hot, when soldiers are dying, we can’t talk to Pakistan. The NSAs (national security advisers) talk, because talks on terror should be held,” she said.

Asked about India’s position on the new US sanctions against Iran, Ms Swaraj said, “We accept UN sanctions, not country specific ones.”

India has a crucial strategic port in Iran and also depends heavily on oil imports from there, both of which will be hit by American sanctions.

On concerns regarding H-1B visas, the foreign minister said India was talking to all arms of the US government and administration to ensure Indians are not affected. “Ultimately it’s America’s decision; they are a sovereign country but we are trying our best,” Ms Swaraj said.

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