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Islamabad’s reaction to Pathankot clear example of change in ties with Pakistan: Swaraj

Islamabad’s reaction to Pathankot clear example of change in ties with Pakistan: Swaraj

New Delhi : Asserting that good ties are key to solving complex issues between New Delhi and Islamabad, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said the ‘warmth and simplicity’ that reflected in the relationship shared between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif was unprecedented.

Giving a detailed account of the progress made in the India-Pakistan relations since the NDA government assumed office, Swaraj said, “The issues involved in the relations between India and Pakistan are very complex. It is not right to expect that such issues would be solved within few meetings. But a good relationship is needed to solve issues. Never before did the relationship shared between both the Prime Ministers reflect such warmth and simplicity.”

“Simplicity was evident when Prime Minister Modi visited Lahore to meet Nawaz Sharif on his birthday, while he was on his way back to Delhi from Kabul,” she added.

The EAM said there was a stark difference in the way Pakistan responded before and after the Pathankot terrorist attack.

“You will see that there was a difference in Pakistan’s reaction after the Pathankot attack as compared to its reaction after other attacks. Earlier, after every terrorist attack, Pakistan used to slip into a denial mode,” she said.

She said that earlier, Pakistan used to out rightly reject its involvement and blame India of falsely accusing it.

“This time after the Pathankot attack, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called up PM Modi and said that he would take action if given the evidence. This was the major difference in their attitude after Pathankot as compared to their previous reactions,” she added.

Swaraj further said the desire to have good relationship cannot come at the cost of lack of alertness at the borders. She said that India would continue to be alert and careful to guard its interests.

“It is not that we would drop our guard or be less careful while pursuing relationship with Pakistan. We are alert and careful. Both Home Ministry and Defence Ministry are doing their duties well,” she added.

Asserting that there are forces that want to disrupt the relationship between the two nations, the Minister spoke of the three-pronged approach adopted by the government since assuming office.

“I will tell you the policy we have adopted towards Pakistan. This will clear all the questions. The moment we took over government we formulated a three point agenda towards Pakistan,” she said.

“First is that, we want to solve all issues with dialogue. Secondly, is that there would only be two parties in the dialogue – India and Pakistan. No third party can be a part of it. And, thirdly, terror and talk cannot go hand-in-hand,” she added. (ANI)