Hyderabad: There will be no dialogue with Pakistan unless it desists from “terrorist” activities against India, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj declared Wednesday, in a rebuff to Pakistan a day after Islamabad said it would invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the SAARC summit.
She also said the Kartarpur corridor initiative was not linked to the dialogue process with Pakistan.
“That invitation has already been given. But, we are not responding to it positively. Because, as I said, that unless and until Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, there will be no dialogue and we will not participate in SAARC,” Swaraj told a press conference. Her statement came hours before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was to lay the foundation stone for the much-awaited corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
Noting that Pakistan promoting “terror” activities in India came in the way of resumption of talks, the minister said, “I already visited Pakistan and this was me only who started the comprehensive bilateral dialogue. But what happened after that? Pathankot, after that Uri. So, we have to take a big picture.”
“Terror and talks cannot go together,” she asserted.
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had said on Tuesday that prime minister Modi will be invited to that country for the SAARC summit.
Swaraj, who is campaigning here ahead of the Telangana elections on December 7, said, “The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, dialogue can start but the dialogue is not connected with only the Kartarpur corridor.”
She declined to comment on Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visiting Pakistan for the event.
On Sidhu giving credit to Imran Khan for the corridor initiative and the latter saying it happened due to efforts of the cricketer-turned-politician, Swaraj said the Government of India, whichever government was in power, sought Kartarpur corridor.
“It happens G (government) to G (government). Any one individual can’t take decision with any government. They were also telling to him that you write. You speak. Such decisions happen government to government. Not through any one individual,” she said, calling attempts to claim credit for the corridor “one upmanship”.
She said details related to Kartarpur corridor, including whether it would be visa-free, among others, are yet to be decided.