Talks can’t be held amid roar of guns: MoS Defence

Srinagar: India’s Minister of State for Defence, Rao Inderjit Singh on Wednesday said that talks with Pakistan would move ahead only if Islamabad doesn’t allow its territory to be used for anti-India militant activities.
“The basic issue with Pakistan as per the Shimla Agreement is that they will not allow their territory to be used for terrorist activities against India. If they can make sure of this, then the atmosphere becomes conducive for talks. But when guns roar how can the talks be held,” Singh told reporters at army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps.
He expressed hope that Pakistan “would uphold the peaceful atmosphere” that has emerged in the backdrop of Pakistan Prime Minister’s visit to India in order to resolve the pending issues.
“We are hopeful that peaceful environment that prevails after the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister during our PM’s swearing-in ceremony will continue and progress further in future as well and issues are resolved,” Singh, who laid a wreath at the War Memorial at the Badamibagh Cantonment, said.
The Minister said that situation in Kashmir was “under control and better than earlier.”
“This is all because of the efforts and brilliance of the armed forces that they did not allow the situation to go out of hand,” he added.
Commenting upon as to whether China was still a threat to India, Singh said they have to remain careful.
“We cannot choose our neighbours. Any country with which we have had disputes in the past, we have to be careful. We are being cautious about China also.”
He said the ongoing turmoil in Iraq was matter of concern for them as the oil pipeline of India comes from southern Iraq.
“Iraq has become a new issue of concern. Our oil pipeline comes from southern Iraq, and so far terrorists have not targeted this pipeline,” the Minister added.