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NEW DELHI: War is not an option and dialogue is the way forward with Pakistan to fight the ‘shadow of terror’, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament on Wednesday.

According to Press Trust of India, she told the Lok Sabha that India had decided to hold dialogue with Pakistan as it was the only way to remove the shadow of terrorism.

Ms Swaraj said Pakistan and India had decided to hold talks on terrorism when Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi met in Ufa, Russia, in July and then in Paris.

‘India has raised cross-border terrorism at many international forums’

“We said we can talk so that terrorism comes to an end. So talks (between national security advisers) took place in Bangkok where we discussed about terrorism. But one meeting will not bring a solution to all the problems. So we will continue the dialogue,” she said during Question Hour.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party’s MP Ganesh Singh asked her whether India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Ms Swaraj said her government was talking to Pakistan on the alleged terrorist camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir as “war is not an option”.

PTI quoted her as saying: “We have decided that through talks we will resolve the issue of terrorism as talks is the way forward so that the shadow of terror is removed. But we want to make it clear, our prime minister has made it clear, that talks and terror can’t go together. Dialogue is drowned by the sound of explosion.”

Ms Swaraj was speaking against the backdrop of the recent decision to re-start a ‘comprehensive’ dialogue with Pakistan under which various subjects, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir, will be discussed, PTI said.

“The prime minister said let’s talk on terror. For talks we will have to put in faith. There is no third party. Through talks, both the countries are trying to resolve the issue of terrorism,” she said.

Ms Swaraj said that following Mr Modi’s conversation with Mr Sharif in Paris on Nov 30 on the sidelines of the climate change summit and in line with the Ufa understanding between the two leaders, the national security advisers (NSAs) of the two countries met in Bangkok on Dec 6.

“They held candid and constructive discussions.

“During my recent visit to Pakistan on Dec 8-9, the two sides decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism.

“The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial.”

India would continue to take all necessary steps to safeguard the nation’s security and safety of all citizens, she said.

Asked whether India raised the issue of alleged cross-border terrorism at international forums, Ms Swaraj said the government actively discussed the issue in all its forms and manifestations at multilateral forums, including the UN, EU, SCO, Asean Regional Forum, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sector Technical and Economic Cooperation and Saarc.

She said Mr Modi had raised the issue of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), which had been pending in the United Nations for adoption since 1996, and discussed his ideas in this regard with several world leaders. “It is heartening that now we are getting support from many countries and we are hopeful that the CCIT resolution would be adopted in the UN soon,” she said.

The global treaty proposed by India aims to ban terrorists and make it binding for countries to deny funds and safe haven to them. Ms Swaraj said India had taken up on a number of occasions with Pakistan and also, where required, with the international community its concerns regarding cross-border terrorism.

“As a result of the government’s consistent pursuit of the matter, several individuals, including Hafiz Saeed, and entities, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaatud Dawa, have been listed under the relevant provisions of the UNSC Resolution 1267 which deals with Al Qaeda and related organisations,” she said.

PTI quoted her as saying that Pakistan had arrested the suspects for perpetrating the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008 and a trial was under way in Pakistan in this regard.

Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2015

Comments (81) Closed

Naveed Dec 17, 2015 06:50am

Why this 180 degree turn in mutual relations, war drums were sounding just few months back, why the change of heart?

Sachi Muchi Dec 17, 2015 06:54am

Look at this, that is how mature nations respond and on the other hand every other day some Pakistani leader would threaten with nuclear bomb. The sooner we realise it's good for us

Raja Ragu Raman Dec 17, 2015 07:06am

Sensible countries, growing countries and developing countries will not think about war...Economy is the saving grace !!!

Scholar from California Dec 17, 2015 07:32am

War should never be an option, we have so much in common. Lets appreciate what we have, live in peace make a better Pakistan and India for our kids ....for God sake play some cricket.

M. Saeed Awan Dec 17, 2015 07:46am

Ultimately she realized that Dialogue is the only option to move ahead. It would be far better if both countries should kept away from dictation of UK, USA or other super powers. Rather they should sit together and start solving issues. Hopefully one day we would have fruitful ties.

AXH Dec 17, 2015 07:47am

War is not an option because it will destroy both sides. Regarding terrorism, if India is sincere and that is a big IF then it should disband its support of terrorist networks in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. Pakistan has credible proof of India's involvement and it cannot be denied.

Kpk Dec 17, 2015 07:48am

If India doesn't want war and Pakistan as well then what's the problem guys. Who is the problem?

vic Dec 17, 2015 07:53am

India should be cautious and remember Kargil. It takes a lot to resolve issues between Pak and India , you have to take people of two nations towards resolution. Governments meeting is a small step in the direction but there is a long way ahead.

Sameer Dec 17, 2015 07:56am

Dawn, why have you removed rhe "likes" count feature from comments? The site has become less interesting. Please bring it back.

Akash Dec 17, 2015 08:08am

Hatred for each other should go away.

Kadva Sach Dec 17, 2015 08:11am

I hope these statements remove the false image of Modi as a right winger, war monger hardline leader. He's surely a matured statesman who will strive to bring prosperity to the region.

Abp Dec 17, 2015 08:16am

Being a Pakistani, I must say that this probably is the best statement made by any leader of suub-continent in the recent history. I wish we have more leader like her. What a great way to end 2015.


Arif Dec 17, 2015 08:19am

For talks both sides need to work extremely closely with the caveat that there might be more attacks in both sides of the border but both Governments would have to be consistent. There are hawks on both sides, there are extremists on both sides and there are people on both sides that do not want peace. So, the biggest challenge would be to make the talks successful. It's been almost 70 years, for God sake!

sandy Dec 17, 2015 08:19am

Good stand by BJP,

Rohail Dec 17, 2015 08:37am

Very fishy and sudden behavioral change on Indian side. I would advise Pakistani establishment to be very careful on this. This may be due to current love affairs between US and India?

Malatesh Dec 17, 2015 08:45am

Excellent stand..

jignesh Dec 17, 2015 09:07am

that's right

Zain Dec 17, 2015 09:24am

If India is raising the terror issue on every forum, which India purported in Pakistan. Why can’t Pakistan raise brutality issue in Kashmir by India on the world forum?

Akashwani Dec 17, 2015 09:27am

There is nothing like a good war or a bad peace.

INDIAN Dec 17, 2015 09:27am

War is never an option, I hope both the parties understand that clearly and work on putting end to the menace of terrorism.

Work together so that the countries precious resources can be spent fighting poverty, corruption, lack of education, women's rights.

Irfan Rahim Dec 17, 2015 09:28am

Yes, we want peace and to resolve all issues through dialogue.

I request the two countries to sign a no-war pact under the auspices of the United Nations and subsequently reduce spending on defence.

Hemant Patil Dec 17, 2015 09:32am

These talks are going on at the behest of US. neither India nor pakistan is interested in talks. So it will not go long. It will only limp. i am not negative about Indo-pak relations, but our past experience talks much.

Jalaluddin S.Hussain Dec 17, 2015 09:43am

It seems Pakistan and India are finally moving towards a "comprehensive solution". However, it might take some time.

DEENAS Dec 17, 2015 09:45am

I feel under Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif, India and Pakistan moving closure like brothers, even yeaterday Modi said in India that India and Pakistan going to change history soon. I hope this works and 2 brothers come together.

Awaaz jordaar Dec 17, 2015 09:48am

Leader guides the subcontinent - impressive!

Abbas Dec 17, 2015 09:55am

Ofcourse not an option. we both countries need to work together to eradicate poverty on both sides.

Shakeel Ahmed Dec 17, 2015 10:03am

No need to show off emaciated muscles when both nations have heart breaking poverty. The race for arms, larger armies and nuclear power superiority will not feed the needy and is a terrible burden on the budget which can be used on good quality education, health and welfare benefits.

KaKa Dec 17, 2015 10:04am

Nice to hear these words. Let's hope such tone continues when she is back in India. We noticed this with Afghans, when they are in Pakistan they talk like this, when they are back in their country they start talking all negative again.

Mahendra Dec 17, 2015 10:07am

Good to know that some sanity is returning at both sides, war warmongering is at best only a political propaganda, in today's world no one can win a war. See what happened to USA in Afghanistan. On same lines terror cannot be a winning tool either, whosoever tries to use it.

Dave Dec 17, 2015 10:07am

This is exactly what we wanted from Modi govt. reach out to all the neighbours and work towards a better environ across south Asia. For prosperity, education and development.

Sultan Alvi, Toronto, Canada Dec 17, 2015 10:07am

Finally, India can see it clearly that war with Pakistan is not a option to resolve outstanding issues, including Jammu & Kashmir. Let us see some action on it.

khanm Dec 17, 2015 10:12am

War with Pakistan not an option: Indian FM... indeed an excellent step in the right direction...war has never resolved any thing...War does not determine who is right - only who is left.The most important issue we face in our societies are poverty, discrimination, lack of medical facility, lack of education, lack thinking. it is time for the leadership in the region to teach how to think and not what to think...let us change the chapter if we want the history to be kind to us ....

Arun Dec 17, 2015 10:25am

We have seen sufficient miseries already. Now let us focus on the generations to come. They will thank us. Our leaders need our support, who look more resolved and speaking same language. Success of comprehensive dialogue is not the END of anything, it will be the beginning of a new era in the sub-continent and lots of unimaginable outcomes will happen in the History yet to be written.

Old Ravian Dec 17, 2015 10:34am

War is never and option. Look at the plight of once affluent families in the middle east. War has turned them into homeless paupers, besides painful losses of near and dear ones. Both India and Pakistan should be beware of the elements who want war between the two nations.

Usman Dec 17, 2015 10:38am

@Sameer exactly!

Dave Dec 17, 2015 10:43am

@Kpk the developed countries who have vested interests and dont want our countries to grow. Only reason is because they are scared

Arun Dec 17, 2015 10:43am

@Sameer unconditionally supporting you, trillion times.

anshul Dec 17, 2015 10:54am

War is not an option , peace and cooperation is not in interest of elites, we will continue with the meaningless dialogue and occasionally pull out then engage again isnt it entertaining.

Abdul Hakim Dec 17, 2015 10:57am

Nice words and gestures from Sushma Swaraj are welcome. Extremism and militancy in both countries has been on the increase. First thing they should do is a Joint declaration of ZERO TOLERANCE followed by a commission to deal with any violations.

WARIS Dec 17, 2015 11:05am

Much needed job to do right now. Work for the people and your country. eradicate poverty, educate your people and prosper. Both countries has lot of mess to deal with. We have not killed that many people of each other as did by Europe. They are living happily so why can't we?

Syed Ahmed, Canada Dec 17, 2015 11:31am

War is not an option and dialogue is the way forward with Pakistan to fight the ‘shadow of terror’, says, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. Why is than India collecting expensive toys and coercing Pakistan to do the same. The race must stop and all efforts diverted towards betterment of the poor masses who live well below the poverty line.

Nav Dec 17, 2015 11:47am

According to the US news articles - India is now the Fastest Growing major Economy in the world and Receiver of Highest FDI in the world - with even UAE committing $75 Billion, China $40 Billion, Japan $45 Billion, Korea - $10 Billion etc.... India is also launching the world's biggest PPP project with the modernisation of 400 Railway stations to bring them to the 21st century standard. So, India has more to lose and it's growth will go back by minimum 10 years as investments will hold back investments, if war happens.

M.Saeed Dec 17, 2015 11:48am

@Kpk : Problem is with the Indians forcing double standards. If Hindu majority states of Hyderabad, Junagarh and Manavadar with Muslim rulers were right to be forcefully annexed by India, then why a huge Muslim majority state of Kashmir with a Hindu ruler cannot be forcefully annexed by Pakistan as well?

M.Saeed Dec 17, 2015 11:53am

If we were not cheated by the dirty connivance of Mountbatten and Nehru on Kashmir, Pakistan and India would have been much ahead of Japan, Korea, Malaysia and even China in development. It is a ploy of the West not to allow the world's largest and strongest working force work for its own development that would have replaced the hegemony of the West, long ago.

Abu-Salmaan Dec 17, 2015 11:58am

@Kpk Politicians.

S. Haider Dec 17, 2015 11:58am

Namestay Ms. Sushma Swaraj. Thank you for your efforts. May God bless all people, who are working for peace between India and Pakistan. A war does not solve a single problem, but creates new problems and suffering.

Abu-Salmaan Dec 17, 2015 12:04pm

@INDIAN Pakistan, India and Bangladesh should be like Canada and USA, peaceful neighbors.

Zak Dec 17, 2015 12:07pm

@Kpk the kashmiris don't want to be occupied by India and they want their right of plebiscite as per UN resolution of 1948. India evades it. That is where the problem lies- it's India, as always.

asgher Dec 17, 2015 12:08pm

This is the reaction of Pakistan submitting strong evidence against india in united nations.

This happens when you go with a proper process and policy. CLEARLY presenting case, evidence and raising concerns to the world. Look at the response from india in last 2 months.

Suman Dec 17, 2015 12:13pm

Let both our militaries meet, talk and instead of pointing gun against each other they can point the gun to extremists together. If that happens then both these countries will be flourished with peace and prosperity.

Akram Dec 17, 2015 12:46pm

So you finally realised.

M.Saeed Dec 17, 2015 12:53pm

@Kpk : India is behaving as the Big-Boss and not an equal in sovereignty. Friendship demands equality and no love can live under any force, or terror.

SidSingh Dec 17, 2015 12:54pm

Nobody wants war, specially between India and Pakistan war is like killing our own family. I am always eager to hear same words from Pakistan diplomats coz in contrast they always provoke and warn India that the option to use nuclear weapons is open for them and Pakistan is not bound against 'No First Use' policy that India has. Such illogical warnings really pollutes the peace process.

M.Saeed Dec 17, 2015 01:09pm

@INDIAN : What you say is absolutely correct. But be a big heart and considerate big-brother and take the first step in displaying wisdom by walking this very wise talk. There is a famous saying of one of the great Muslims that, with good manners alone, one an win invaluable things without spending anything.

Ravee Dec 17, 2015 01:16pm

The politician must understand people of both country needs peace.

Akhtar Dec 17, 2015 01:27pm

It is all one sided. India also needs to stop supporting terror against Pakistan via Afghanistan and supporting the BLA.

m h kayani Dec 17, 2015 01:47pm

Well said, move forward, love, live and let live with respect for all. a war will destroy both.

Ramesh Dec 17, 2015 02:18pm

War was not an option either in 1948 nor 1965 nor 1971 but it happened whether we liked it or not.

Kashif Dec 17, 2015 02:19pm

She has been talking more sanely after coming to Pakistan..

Kamal Pasha Dec 17, 2015 02:21pm

First Kashmir, rest afterwards.

Nasir Dec 17, 2015 02:25pm

Give peace a chance.

Shahid Dec 17, 2015 02:29pm

Both countries can not afford WAR at all. India will be big loser because all foreign companies and International business will be vanished.

Divergence Dec 17, 2015 02:53pm

It is Indian attitude that is inflexible and accusatory, Pakistan is already fighting the manifold proxy wars, it is Indian mindset which is driven by aggression.

Taimoor Khan Dec 17, 2015 03:39pm

What non sense. India is neck deep involved in terrorism inside Pakistan.

Himmat Dec 17, 2015 03:44pm

If both India and Pakistan are happy about status quo about Kashmir, the solution to Kashmir is already in place. For those, who think Kashmir is unfinished agenda of Partition, war is the only way out, though it may not provide solution and bring about destruction.

Muhammed Ali UK Dec 17, 2015 05:25pm

Kashmir MUST be included in any ifs no buts..

khanm Dec 17, 2015 06:04pm

May i ask . Can some one explain, war is not the option and so are the dialogues... what is the third option...

Ahmed Saeed Dec 17, 2015 06:34pm

@Naveed No other option. They have to pass through Pakistan to sell their potatoes in central asia.

Ahmed Saeed Dec 17, 2015 06:36pm

So Sushma Jee what other options India have.

Sri Dec 17, 2015 06:57pm

@AXH and what is the proof

Atam Vetta Dec 17, 2015 06:58pm

There is NO change in the Indian policy vis a vis Pakistan. Modi initiated ' talks' with NS by inviting NS to his inauguration. Today, the whole world is against terrorism and the Chinese are at the forefront against terrorism. Thus, almost all countries and NOT India alone, are pressing Pak to act against terrorists. India cannot afford to loose their support. In the Indo-Pak discussions there will be ups and downs. Recently, there were downs but that is no reason not to persevere.

Swamy Dec 17, 2015 07:05pm

Why should we go to talks as war is or is not option. Why don't we start with PEACE and FRIENDSHIP are the only way. Any sibling parted most of the times will have bitterness. This changes when brothers become friends. Neither.. Nuclear nor war are the deterrents. The only deterrent is our poverty. We need to focus and invest on this war. Even the perceived eternal problems like Kashmir or terrorism get solved if we are friends.

lafanga Dec 17, 2015 08:28pm

Ok if war is not an option then give peace a chance Mrs. Swaraj. No need to talk. Show some action.

Lawade ke ball Dec 17, 2015 10:44pm

@M.Saeed : you're 100% correct

Alarmed Khan Dec 18, 2015 07:23am

@KaKa : Sushma Swaraj is in India --where she made the statement!

Alarmed Khan Dec 18, 2015 07:31am

@Atam Vetta :In the meantime, China is building islands in the Spratly group and redefining its borders in Phillipine shores and defying calls to settle issues with Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan!

Eramanagalam Somapalan Dec 18, 2015 11:07am

@Himmat Absolutely correct, there is no solution to satisfy both otherwise

Tamil Dec 19, 2015 09:39am

@Abp unfortunately, our leaders sign agreements, make promises and then do not fulfil either. That is why no one trusts us. As an Indian I will not be happy, but I have realised reality is kashmir is the root cause. It should have been resolved 68 years ago. We asked UN to help us, they said plebiscite, we agreed, we did not fulfil. Kashmiris do not want to be with us.

vijay Dec 19, 2015 10:46am

@M.Saeed Absolutely right! well siad Saeed Sab.

Rasmi ranjan Dec 19, 2015 01:27pm

@Ahmed Saeed chabhar port is the last option for india to conect with central asia,india only want peace with pakistan bcz to get pass through

Rasmi ranjan Dec 19, 2015 01:27pm

@Ahmed Saeed chabhar port is the last option for india to conect with central asia,india only want peace with pakistan bcz to get pass through