India, Pakistan to engage in comprehensive dialogue on all issues: Sushma Swaraj


Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma  Swaraj Monday said  that India and Pakistan would engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue on all issues including peace, security and Jammu and Kashmir and added that “continued estrangement of the two countries was a hurdle to realisation of peace and prosperity in the region.”

She also said “India hopes new dialogue with Pakistan will mark a new beginning for peace and development in the region.”

Despite the Opposition drowning out most of her suo moto statement about her visit to Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj said that the renewed dialogue with Pakistan would be under the new title ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’.

Days after returning from Islamabad after attending the ‘Heart of Asia’ summit, Sushma Swaraj on Monday gave her statement on talks with Pakistan. Barely audible due to the continuous uproar in Rajya Sabha, Sushma in her statement said that the two countries can re-engage in talks.

“The underlined sentiment was that continued estrangement of two neighbours was a hurdle to realisation of a shade vision for peaceful and prosperous region. There was also a sharp awareness that principal obstacles to the growth of ties especially terrorism would have to be directly addressed,” she said.

Recalling the meeting between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Paris, she said that both the Prime Ministers discussed the need for NSA level talks between the two countries.

“During Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif’s meeting in Paris, it was discussed that both countries should begin NSA talks focused on peace and terrorism, tranquility along the line of Jammu and Kashmir – the state which has been most impacted by terrorism and LoC violation,” she said.

She also added that during her visit to Pakistan, both sides condemned terrorism and resolved to eliminate it. “India dwelled on the need to expedite Mumbai terror attack trial. Foreign Secretaries have been tossed to work out modalities and comprehensive bilateral dialogue. The dialogue with Pakistan has twin aims of removing hurdles in the path of constructive engagement,” she said.

“We raised the issue of Mumbai 26/11 attacks probe and asked Pakistan to expedite the trial process,” Swaraj was further heard saying amid the din.

As the protests continued even after Swaraj wound up her statement, deputy chairperson of the house, PJ Kurien admonished the members of the house creating a ruckus.