Reacting to a US-Pakistan joint statement on terrorism, the ministry of external affairs said on Friday it was a positive sign that the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba were finally mentioned, but slammed Nawaz Sharif’s charges that India had backed from a constructive dialogue with the hostile neighbour.
“India has always desired resolution of all issues with Pakistan bilaterally through dialogue and peaceful means… Pakistan has chosen to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. “We remain open to NSA level talks (with Pakistan) as decided in Ufa,” he said.
The August 24 talks between Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval were cancelled after Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit invited Kashmiri separatists to a tea reception. This was the second time the India-Pakistan dialogue process was derailed since Sharif attended Modi’s swearing-in-ceremony in May 2014.
Modi and Sharif had a breakthrough meeting in the Russian city of Ufa three months before the incident when they decided on a way forward, but differing interpretations of the joint statement soon led to the NSA-level talks being cancelled.