India, Pakistan remained in touch through diplomatic channel: India's foreign minister
The minister said that the talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries, agreed during her visit to Islamabad in December 2015, could not take place due to the terrorist attack on Pathankot airbase in January last year. Photograph: (AFP)
The External Affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, has said that the government of India was in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, the minister said that "the governments of India and Pakistan remained in touch through bilateral diplomatic channels, including for addressing all urgent humanitarian and other matters concerning people-to- people ties".
The minister said that the talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries to decide the modalities of the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue, agreed during her visit to Islamabad in December 2015, could not take place due to the terrorist attack on Pathankot airbase in January last year.
"The government was also able to effectively neutralise Pakistan's efforts to internationalise Kashmir issue, and conveyed to India's interlocutors that normalisation of India-Pakistan relations through a peaceful bilateral dialogue can take place only in a conducive environment free from violence and terrorism," Swaraj said.
The Indian foreign secretary, S. Jaishankar, in exchange of letters with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry last year, made it clear that the talks could go ahead only if Pakistan is willing to take action on terrorists responsible for the Pathankot airbase attack and the 2008 Mumbai attack. He also said that Pakistan will have to vacate from the illegally occupied parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
(WION with inputs from PTI)