India sets precondition after Shehbaz offers Modi to hold talks

India said a conducive atmosphere free of terror was required for dialogue with Pakistan, as New Delhi yet again set a condition in response to before resuming talks with Pakistan in response to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s suggestion to hold serious and sincere talks for resolving the burning issues.

“India reiterated its position on relations with Pakistan and said that a ‘conducive atmosphere free of terror’ is needed for talks,” a state-run Indian new agency quoted the Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson as saying.

Replying to a question during a press briefing Arindam Bagchi said: “We have already said that we have always wanted normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan.”

“But there should be a conducive atmosphere which does not have terror, hostility or violence. That remains our position,” he added.

The comments came four days after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, during an interview with Al Arabiya news channel, said, “My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down [at] the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir.

He also added that said the United Arab Emirates leadership could play an important role in bringing India and Pakistan to table.

Shehbaz said flagrant human rights violations were taking place day in and day out in the Occupied Kashmir, adding that the neighbouring country had usurped any semblance of autonomy given to the Kashmiris according to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

The prime minister also said that the minorities in India were being persecuted. “This must stop so that message can go around the globe that India is ready to have talks.”

He said Pakistan and India were neighbours and would have to live with each other. “It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other, and waste time and resources. We have three wars with India and it only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people. We have learnt our lesson and we want to live in peace provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems.”

“We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, and provide education and health facilities and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition, that is the message I want to give to Prime Minister Modi,” he added.

The premier remarked that both countries are nuclear powers and armed to teeth. “If God forbid a war breaks out who will live to tell what happened,” he said.

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