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Talks and terror cannot go together, India says in rejoinder to Pakistan at UN


New York: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said late on Thursday that India is open to having a dialogue with Pakistan on all issues, but emphatically stated that talks and terror cannot go together.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly here, Swaraj, who was speaking a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had raised the settlement of the Kashmir issue again at the UNGA, said that the masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack are still walking free in Pakistan which was an affront to the entire international community.

Swaraj said that India is prepared to hold talks at the NSA level related to terrorism and agreeable to the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) to address the situation on the border as agreed upon by the Prime Ministers of the two countries in Ufa this year if Pakistan’s response is serious and credible.

She also called upon the international community to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) proposed by India in 1996 during the 70th anniversary year of the United Nations, while at the same time expressing India’s regret over the issue still being entangled on the issue of definition.

Swaraj also used her address to reiterate New delhi’s demand for reforms in the United Nations Security Council to preserve the legitimacy of UN as the custodian of global peace, security and development.

She said reforms in the UNSC are the most urgent and pressing need and added that imparting more legitimacy and balance to it would restore its credibility and equip it to confront the challenges of our times.

She also thanked the UN for adopting the text for negotiating the issue of UNSC reforms.

The External Affairs Minister said that India remains committed to United Nation’s peace-keeping operations and will enhance its contribution which will cover all aspects of peace-keeping.

However, she expressed her concern about decision making process in the peace-keeping operations.

Swaraj also paid tribute to the more than 3,300 peace-keepers, including 161 from India who sacrificed their lives in the operations.

She said India has been the largest provider of the international security by the UN with a total of 18,000 peace-keepers deployed so far.

Swaraj said about 8,000 Indian military and police personnel are still deployed by UN in 10 missions working in highly challenging environments. (ANI)

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