New Delhi: India on Thursday said Pakistan’s support to cross-border terrorism was the root cause of the problem between the two countries, and has led to diplomatic isolation of Pakistan.
Asked what he meant by diplomatic isolation, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup referred to a number of letters written by different countries condemning cross-border terror.
“Root cause of problem between India and Pakistan is Pakistan’s support to cross border terrorism and its promotion as an element of state policy. It is important for Pakistan to desist from those policies, which are failed policies, which have led to its diplomatic isolation,” Swarup said.
“Unless that happens, relationship between the two countries will continue to remain like this.”
Asked what he meant by diplomatic isolation as no sanctions have been imposed on Pakistan, Swarup referred to the letters by different South Asian countries condemning cross border terror.
“You are not aware of letters that were written by members of Saarc?” he questioned.
“As far as we are concerned the international community has spoken unequivocally on the issue of cross-border terrorism and there are various statements, many are available on the website, many are available on my Twitter feed, countries have unequivocally condemned cross-border terrorism,” Swarup said.
“Bhutan Prime Minister in fact said the worst from of terrorism is cross-border terrorism… If this is not a signal to the country that we are discussing then what is?” he added.
The 19th Saarc Summit which was to be held in Islamabad in November this year was postponed after member nations pulled out, citing concerns over rising regional terrorism.
Following the September 18 terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri of Jammu and Kashmir, that led to the deaths of 19 soldiers, India decided not to participate in the summit. India has blamed the terror attack on Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohamed.
India’s pulling out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit was followed by that of Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka expressed its reservations about participation.
Asked about the fate of the summit, Swarup said the question should be put to Pakistan.
“They are the ones who were supposed to hold the summit in Islamabad, and they are the ones who have now postponed it. We also know the reason why the summit was postponed. The letters that were written by virtually every Saarc country to the chair, and the statement that was issued by Saarc chair Nepal itself. It clearly said in the current atmosphere in which one country is undermining peace and security by resorting to cross border terrorism, it is not conducive for country heads to assemble in Islamabad for the Saarc summit,” Swarup said.
“I think it is incumbent on Pakistan to create the necessary conducive atmosphere for meaningful discussion on regional cooperation that can take place within the Saarc framework,” he said.
The eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
First Published | 3 November 2016 10:11 PM