NEW DELHI: India on Friday implicitly ruled out formal talks with Pakistan till Islamabad finishes its probe into the Pathankot airbase attack, local reports said.

They quoted India’s foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup as saying that Delhi had never ever shied away from engaging with Islamabad.

“India is prepared to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan bilaterally in an atmosphere, which is free from terror and violence,” Mr Swarup told reporters.

He said that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was prepared to hold discussion “on modality of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue with Pakistan” in January, but after the Pathankot airbase attack, India is now waiting for Pakistan to complete their probe.

On Wednesday, Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said India was shying away from talks as it “knows that it has to discuss Kashmir and other issues”. Media reports said Mr Swarup’s remarks were a reply to Mr Aziz’s comments.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2016

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