India, Pakistan make new beginning: Swaraj


In the backdrop of the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan during her recent visit to Islamabad, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj expressed optimism on the future trajectory of this critical relationship.  “A new beginning has been made by India and Pakistan as the two countries have agreed on a new bilateral comprehensive dialogue to address all outstanding issues through peaceful means,” Mrs Swaraj said in New Delhi on December 17.”

Answering a question in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) on whether India has raised the issue of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in international fora, Mrs Swaraj said the government’s principled and consistent position on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir has been that the entire state is an integral part of India.

During her visit to Islamabad, where she attended a multilateral meet on Afghanistan, both India and Pakistan announced that they have decided to engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue. This was a step forward between the two countries as the dialogue has been upgraded from a composite dialogue to a comprehensive bilateral dialogue. Under the comprehensive bilateral dialogue India and Pakistan would discuss all the major outstanding issues instead of stressing on only one major issue as the two countries had been doing in the recent past with India emphasising on exclusive talks focusing only on terror and Pakistan stressing on discussing only Kashmir.

Replying to a query, Mrs Swaraj said, “the Permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN has recently written three letters to the President of the UN Security Council which referred to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and asked the top decision making body to take note of situation along the Line of Control.”

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