India puts onus on Pak for talks

NEW DELHI, Feb 10:
The Government on Friday said issues, if any, between India and Pakistan should be resolved bilaterally in an atmosphere free of terror and violence, asserting that the onus is on Islamabad to create such a conducive environment.
In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said according to per media reports, the prime minister of Pakistan remarked that his message to India is to have talks.
“Subsequently, the spokesman of Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Office reiterated Pakistan’s various pre-conditions to holding any talks with India,” he pointed out.
India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and India’s consistent position is that issues, if any, between India and Pakistan should be resolved bilaterally and peacefully, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence, Muraleedharan said.
“The onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive environment by taking credible and verifiable actions to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross-border terrorism against India,” he said.
To a separate question on whether the Government has initiated diplomatic measures to deal with the possible smuggling of nuclear weapons and regional imbalance arising in Indian subcontinent in view of changing economic and political situation in the neighbouring country, Muraleedharan said the government monitors all developments having a bearing on national security and takes necessary steps to safeguard it.
“Government continues to monitor nuclear proliferation in India’s neighbourhood. In the context of international discussions on nuclear security matters, India has raised concerns regarding the danger of nuclear explosives or fissile material falling into the hands of non-state actors and terrorists,” he said.
Noting that international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Interpol are the international institutions dealing with nuclear smuggling, Muraleedharan said India participates in both and has taken the necessary measures to tackle nuclear smuggling.
To another question on whether bitterness has been witnessed in international relations as a result of making communal statement by certain people in the country, the minister said remarks or statements by individuals do not always reflect the views of the Government.
“India’s foreign policy is based on mutual respect and understanding; and India conducts foreign relations through regular contacts, structured dialogue mechanism and through high-level visits,” he said. (PTI)