‘Voice of Talks Gets Lost in the Din of Bomb Blasts’

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Sushma Swaraj sent out a clear mes­sage to Pak­istan on her first day in of­fice as ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter, say­ing that while In­dia sought good re­la­tions the neigh­bour­ing coun­try should clamp down against ter­ror­ism since the “voice of talks gets lost in the din of bomb blasts”. The first woman to take charge as In­dia’s ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter, Swaraj on Wed­nes­day said Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had con­veyed­to­his­coun­ter­partNawazSharif in their meet­ing on the pre­vi­ous day that the talks be­tween the two coun­tries would not be ef­fec­tive if bomb blasts con­tin­ued. “We told Pak­istan that we want good re­la­tions with it. But for good re­la­tions, the talks can be ef­fec­tive and suc­cess­ful only if ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties (di­rected against In­dia) stop. The voice of talks gets lost in the sound of bomb blasts. That is why bomb blasts should stop so that we can talk and our voices can be heard. Talks will get sub­dued un­der the din of bomb blasts. He (Modi) con­veyed it to Sharif in these many words,” Swaraj told the me­dia. In­dia had asked Pak­istan to en­sure speedy trial in the Novem­ber 2008 (26/11) Mum­bai at­tack case be­ing held in Pak­istan, she said, adding that the Pak­istani side had said that they were work­ing on it.

In Is­lam­abad, Pak­istan’s na­tional se­cu­rity and for­eign af­fairs ad­vi­sor Sar­taj Aziz said that the meet­ing be­tween Sharif and Modi in New Delhi was­notjustapho­toopan­dit­sout­come proved bet­ter than any­one’s ex­pecta-

Talks Suc­cess­ful

tions. Aziz also said that the Kash­mir is­sue was also raised by Sharif and the twolead­er­s­dis­cussedanti-ter­ror­co­op­er­a­tion. How­ever, un­like many other Pak­istani lead­ers in the past, Sharif did not meet Kash­miri sep­a­ratist Hur­riyat’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives dur­ing his stay in Delhi and he did not men­tion Kash­mir in his pre-de­par­ture state­ment.

Brief­in­gth­e­me­diaonModi’smeet­ing with the SAARC lead­ers, who had come­toat­tend­hiss­wear­ing-in­cer­e­mony, Swaraj said the talks had been suc­cess­ful. “He told the lead­ers that SAARC could not make an iden­tity in the world be­cause of bi­lat­eral is­sues. He said if bi­lat­eral con­tentious is­sues are left be­tween the re­spec­tive coun­tries, then SAARC can emerge as a strong­power,”she­said.“Iwould­liketo say that for the first time the SAARC lead­ers felt that a govern­ment and a Prime Min­is­ter who thinks out of the box has as­sumed power in In­dia,” she said, point­ing to the ini­tia­tive that has been­de­scribedas­path-break­ing­bythe vis­it­ing lead­ers.

Modi had in his talks with Sri L a n k a n P r e s i d e n t Ma h i n d a Ra­japaksa raised the is­sue of fish­er­men as well as the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process to meet the as­pi­ra­tions of Tamil com­mu­nity in the coun­try. “We have also raised the is­sue of 13th amend­ment to the Sri Lankan Con­sti­tu­tion,” she said. In­dia has been press­ing for im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 13th amend­ment, which was in­tro­duced to en­sure cer­tain pow­ers to provin­cial coun­cils based on the pro­vi­sions of the Indo-Sri Lanka Ac­cord of 1987.

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