New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has hinted that any bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan is unlikely unless Pakistan stops ‘cross- border militancy and firing.
Swaraj said this to Parliament’s consultative committee on external affairs during a meeting, which was also attended by Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
During the meeting, Swaraj also said that she had met Pakistan’s envoy to India and proposed to him that both countries release the prisoners who are above 70 years of age or women or of unsound mind as part of humanitarian aspect of the relationship, a member who was present in the meeting said.
The agenda of the meeting was ‘Relationship with the Neighbourhood’. Responding to a query on India-Pakistan cricket series on a neutral venue, the external affairs minister hinted that it seemed unlikely until Pakistan stopped cross-border militancy and firing, the member said. She clarified that terrorism and cricket can’t go hand in hand, the member said.
Members also sought to know from the ministry various aspects of the recent Maldives-China Free Trade Agreement and increasing proximity between the two nations and its impact on India.
The ministry in its reply said that the relationship between India and Maldives remained close and cordial. It also mentioned about the increasing defence cooperation between the two nations.