NEW DELHI: India, responding to Pakistan’s plan to discuss Jammu and Kashmir, has given its list of issues that must be addressed before any progress is possible.

Reports on Saturday quoted India’s foreign ministry as responding to the statement by Foreign Policy Adviser Sartaj Aziz to invite India for dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir.

The ministry claimed Delhi welcomed dialogue on relevant issues and at this time it included stoppage of “Pak-supported cross-border terrorism”.

In a statement, the ministry said: “Would welcome dialogue on relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations and at this time it includes stoppage of Pak-supported cross-border terrorism.”

Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that before the start of a dialogue Pakistan must address “incitement to violence and terrorism across the border, parading of internationally recognised terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, and sincere follow up on the Mumbai attack trial and the Pathankot attack investigation”.

Days after India insisted that it would discuss only Azad Kashmir with Pakistan, Mr Aziz had said on Friday that Pakistan planned to invite India for a dialogue on the Kashmir issue.

“Our foreign secretary would formally be writing to his counterpart in this regard,” Mr Aziz had said as he briefed the media about the Envoys Conference held on August 1-3 to deliberate on major foreign policy challenges faced by Pakistan and make recommendations. He said the conference had spent considerable time on the grim situation in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said: “Unlike in the past we cannot agree that dialogue with sponsor and supporters of terrorism should carry on without being linked to action in that regard.” She was obliquely referring to Pakistan.

“Threat of terrorism dominates global concerns today. It is an issue which has confronted Indian diplomacy for many years because of its cross-border manifestation,” she said. “At the international level we are also putting the spotlight on early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism,” she added.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2016

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