India, Pakistan Still Not At Dialogue Stage: Salman Khurshid

India, Pakistan Still Not At Dialogue Stage: Salman Khurshid

12 October 2013
Express Tribune


New Delhi: Despite a confidence building meeting between prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian premier Manmohan Singh in New York late last month, Indian External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid downplayed the mood, saying on Saturday that the two neighbouring nuclear armed countries were still not at a stage of “resumed talks.” “I must make it very clear that we have not reached a stage where we have done something like ‘so-called resumed talks’. We used to have a composite dialogue and that composite dialogue got suspended and then we began to move towards a process to resume that dialogue subsequently,” Khurshid said after returning to India following a trip with Manmohan to Indonesia, Press Trust of India reported on Saturday. “While the two Prime Ministers met in New York (last month), we have not reached a stage where we have indicated any dates, timeline or perspective on the resumed dialogue…But whether and when the political level dialogue will take place and when, that is yet not clear.” Khurshid termed the recent incidents along the Line of Control (LoC), a defacto border between Pakistan and India in the disputed territory of Kashmir were “upsetting” and not conducive to normalisation of ties. “But (as far as) the incidents at the LoC and border are concerned, they are upsetting. The army is dealing with it and the Defence Minister is dealing with it, but I can’t say it is conducive to a faster movement in normalisation.” On the bright side, Khurshid said that there were “many routine things” still continuing between India and Pakistan despite the adverse political atmosphere and that these “will continue”. “This (political dialogue) is something our leaders will work out in due course.” Tempers have flared in recent weeks with violations along the LoC which has threatened a fragile peace between the two nuclear armed neighbours, both of which who have fought three major wars with each other during their 67 years of existence. Most recently, the Indian military blamed Pakistan for trying to infiltrate militants into Indian administered half of Kashmir. The Indian army claimed it had conducted a two week long operation against militants which started after an attack on an army camp in the Keran sector.