New Delhi, May 28: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday ruled out a dialogue with Pakistan till it shuns terrorism. Addressing her annual press conference in national capital, after releasing a book on MEA achievements in last 4 years, Swaraj asserted,”We never said we are not ready for talks, but there is a caveat. Terror and talks cannot go together, be it post elections or even before (Pakistan general elections scheduled for July 25). Jab seema par janaze uth rahe hon,to baatcheet ki awaaz acchi nahi lagti (when people are dying on the border, talk of dialogue is not appropriate).” Also Read - Amid Farmers Protest, PM Modi Says New Agricultural Reforms Have Given Them Legal Protection
Swaraj was replying to a question on whether India-Pakistan talks can take place after the general elections there. However, she admitted that the NSAs of India and Pakistan meet to hold “talks on terror”. Also Read - Nationwide Lockdown on Cards? PM Modi to Hold All-party Meet on December 4 to Discuss COVID Situation
On being asked about Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan Order 2018 (relating to administrative control over Gilgit-Baltistan), Swaraj said,“The answer we got in response of what happened with the Gilgit Baltistan Order is laughable. They tried to teach us history. Pakistan always distorts history and doesn’t believe in law. The only thing I felt while reading their answer was, ‘look who’s talking.” (Also Read: India Won’t Say no, If Pakistan is Ready For Talks on Relevant Issues: Rajnath Singh) Also Read - Regretting Error: Congress MP Anand Sharma Clarifies After Praising PM Modi's Visit to Vaccine Facilities
On May 21, Pakistan’s Cabinet approved Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 which was also endorsed by the assembly of the region. The order is being seen as Islamabad’s efforts towards incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province.
The external affairs minister also briefed media about the India’s equation with China, with regard to the Doklam situation which had witnessed a 73-day long standoff in 2017. “I am repeating again, at the Doklam faceoff site there is no change in the situation, status quo is continuing,” Swaraj asserted.
Notably Swaraj was presenting a report card on the completion of NDA government’s four years at office. She highlighted the Narendra Modi government’s foreign policy achievements and lauded Centre’s unprecedented outreach to the world, saying”When we formed our govt, we thought that we will cover all the 192 countries present at the UN, for ministerial level talks. And, we have covered 186 countries already.”
She also hailed MEA’s initiatives to help Indians overseas whenever there was a need. “90,000 people from Indian community have been rescued from various places. In his visits to many countries, PM has saved many people from severe punishments. Today, Indians living overseas are living peacefully,” Swaraj claimed.
Outlining the work of the Narendra Modi-led government in its four years of rule, Swaraj said India has secured membership of three export control regimes out of four since this government came to come in 2014.