India to Pakistan: Stop denials, terrorism remains a core concern

modi-sharifDenials and equivocations don’t alter hard facts on the ground. And the fact is that terror remains “a core concern” of India in its relations with Pakistan.

In a hard-hitting response to Pakistan’s repudiation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s contention that Islamabad was engaging in a proxy war of terrorism, New Delhi sharply reminded Islamabad that “mere denials of selective approaches towards terrorism are not going to drive away its concerns.”

In a forceful assertion, New Delhi underlined that India will use all means available to deal with cross-border terror.

Rejecting Pakistan’s denial, Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, said August 13 in New Delhi that the prime minister was articulating India’s concerns about terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil and India will deal with it effectively as its “tool kit is not restricted in any manner”.

“Terrorism for us is a real and present danger. The prime minister was articulating what is for us the core concern in our relation with Pakistan. Mere denials of selective approaches towards terrorism are not going to drive away our concerns,” the spokesperson stressed.

akbar-1Addressing Pakistan’s accusation that India was indulging in “baseless rhetoric” and “blame game,” the spokesperson empahsised that India’s concerns were all-too-real and were grounded in the real experience of being repeatedly targeted by terror emanating from the Pakistani soil. India’s concerns, he said, stemmed from the fact that some of the worst terrorist attacks in the country owe the genesis to areas which were either in Pakistani control or in Pakistan and referred to the Parliament attack and 26/11 Mumbai strikes.

Verbal duelling apart, India took a long-range view of the forthcoming talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries in Islamabad August 25, which is expected to be an exploratory attempt to map the way forward in the strained India-Pakistan relations.

Asked whether the scheduled talks will go ahead, the spokesperson said the two foreign secretaries  are meeting, following directives from prime ministers of both the countries to be in touch and look at the way forward in bilateral ties.

PakistanIn a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office termed Prime Minister Modi’s August 12 comments in Leh on terrorism as “baseless rhetoric.” “Our Armed Forces are ready to defend Pakistan borders and thwart every threat of aggression,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in Islamabad.

India’s forceful reminder to Pakistan to address the issue of terrorism frontally suggests that the new Modi government, after showing a spot of statesman-like diplomacy, is going to up pressure on Islamabad to prosecute the perpetrators of the 26/11 carnage.

Immediately after talking charge, Mr Modi had orchestrated a diplomatic masterstroke by inviting leaders of all SAARC nations, including the prime minister of Pakistan, for his swearing-in ceremony, which was followed by friendly bilateral talks in New Delhi. The South Asia diplomacy of the new government has been widely lauded by in the subcontinent as well as the world over, specially the US.

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