Reiterating government’s stand on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said terrorism and talks can’t go together. She was speaking in the Rajya Sabha.

“Terror and talks cannot go together. This is the roadmap. The day when they stop terror, talks will start,” she said.

The minister blamed Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir.

Speaking on the India’s foreign policy, Sushma Swaraj said India’s relationship with Pakistan deteriorated not after the Pathankot attack, but after the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called Hizbul commander Burhan Wani a freedom fighter.

Defending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to land in Lahore on way back from Kabul on December 25, 2015, Sushma Swaraj said it was part of a peace initiative India had started.

“Our Prime Minister going to Lahore on way from Kabul was part of this initiative. Everything is in public domain. It was Nawaz Sharif’s birthday on December 25. Modi wished him, and he asked Modi to come to make a stopover in Pakistan. Without caring for protocol the Prime Minister went there.

“You cannot say that we did not extend the hand of friendship with Pakistan,” she added.

On Doklam issue, Sushma Swaraj said, “We will continue to engage with Chinese side through diplomatic channels to find a mutually acceptable solution.”

The External Affairs Minister said that India believes peace and tranquillity in Indo-China border areas is very important for the smooth development of bilateral relations.

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