India desires 'dialogue' but Pak uses terrorism as instrument: MEA

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 23, 2015 22:55 hrs

New Delhi: Reacting on the recent US-Pakistan joint statement on terrorism, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said that it was a positive sign that the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba were finally mentioned, but slammed Nawaz Sharif's charges that India had backed from a constructive dialogue with the hostile neighbour.

"India has always desired resolution of all issues with Pakistan bilaterally through dialogue and peaceful means, but it is Pakistan which has chosen to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy," MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup told the media here.

Swarup expressed contentment that the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba had been specifically mention for the first time in a joint statement by the US and Pakistan, as India had been firm with their stand that both these terror organisations have been actively operating out of Pakistan.

"You have also read the assurance about these two organisations and terrorism offered by Pakistan. We hope that they deliver on these commitments. In September 2014 and January 2015, the US and India had agreed to joint and concerted efforts to disrupt entities such as the LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, D-Company and the Haqqani network," Swarup added.

The MEA spokesperson also said that through this joint statement Pakistan should get the message that the international community is deeply concerned about their 'support and sponsorship of terrorism'.

However, on the matter of US support for funding for the Diamer Bhasha and Dasu dams located in Pakistan occupied Kashimir, Swarup asserted that India has always opposed the construction of the hydro-electric projects in the disputed region of Kashmir that includes PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

"We oppose any developmental projects in an area that belongs to India but is forcibly under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We have made this clear to all countries," Swarup said.

Talking about Pakistan Foreign Secretary recent statement that their nuclear program is mainly a deterrent against India's conventional and nuclear military capability, Swarup said it was definitely a matter of concern given Islamabad's history of 'clandestine and illegal activity' on the nuclear side and such an implication will have to be carefully monitored.

"I do draw attention to the reference in the joint statement that President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif discussed, 'nuclear terrorism'," Swarup added.

Speaking on the appointment of Retired Lieutenant General Nasser Khan Janjua as the new National security Advisor (NSA) of Pakistan, Swarup said that it was internal matter of the country.

"As far as we are concerned, it is an internal matter for Pakistan and it is their choice who they want to make the NSA... We remain open to the NSA-talks as decided in the Ufa understanding," Swarup said.

Swarup also announced that Geeta (the mute woman who has spent over a decade in Pakistan) would be coming back to India on October 26, along with five members of the Edhi Foundation who looked after her in Pakistan.

"On the 26 October, we will be bringing Geeta back to India, together with Geeta we have invited five officials' family members of Edhi foundation. They will be treated as state guest during their stay in India," Swarup said.

"Geeta has already identified one family as possibly being that of her parents, we will be doing the DNA testing to establish conclusive proof if the DNA test match Geeta would be handed over to the family. If not, we have identified suitable institution where Geeta would be looked after," he added.

Swarup also talked about the seven-decade-old mystery surrounding Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that was raised by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"Lavrov said that he would see if Russia has any files pertaining to this particular subject and if so they would certainly tried to share them with us," Swarup said.

Commenting on the terrorism in Syria, he said that it had to be dealt with concerted, global action and there should be "no distinction between good terrorists and bad terrorists."

"In so far, the political issues in Syria are concerned, then it has to be in accordance with the Geneva process. That is something that the international community has signed d up to and we certainly support that," he added.

Swarup also spoke on the upcoming Africa summit. He said, "There will be no agenda. There will be a plenary session where the media will be invited. There will be probably some kind of a declaration at the end of the summit which will tell you what conclusions were reached."

India has invited 56 countries and all of them are expected to be in attendance.