External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India cannot have dialogue with Pakistan unless the latter takes action against terror groups on its soil. Speaking at a conference in Delhi on Wednesday the union minister hit out at Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and said, “Some people say Imran Khan is a statesman, if he is so generous then he should hand over JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) chief Masood Azhar to India. Let’s see how generous he is.”
“We are ready to engage with Pakistan in an atmosphere free from terror…talks and terror cannot go together,” said Sushma Swaraj.
Questioning Pakistan’s retaliation to Indian air strikes in Balakot, she said that India had specifically targeted the Jaish terror group but “Why did the Pakistani military attack us on behalf of JeM?”
#WATCH EAM Sushma Swaraj in Delhi: We are ready to engage with Pakistan in atmosphere free from terror. Some people say Imran Khan is a statesman, if he is so generous then he should hand over JeM chief Masood Azhar to India. Let’s see how generous he is. (13.03) pic.twitter.com/kgnDfv8gOY
— ANI (@ANI) March 14, 2019
“You not only keep JeM on your soil, but fund them and when the victim country retaliates, you attack it on the terror outfit’s behalf,” Sushma Swaraj tore into Pakistan government, adding that it
needs to control the ISI and its army, who are bent on “destroying the bilateral relations” time and again.
Speaking on the Pulwama terror attack, which killed over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers, Sushma Swaraj said, “I used to receive calls from foreign ministers, who would first condole the Pulwama attack, then express their solidarity and softly say that we think India will not escalate the situation.”
In reply to foreign ministers, Sushma Swaraj said that she would assured them: “India will not escalate the situation but if there is any other terror attack then we will not remain silent as we cannot say Pulwama as our destiny.”
Tensions heightened between India and Pakistan after Indian fighter jets bombed Jaish training terror camp at Balakot deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
(With inputs from ANI & PTI)