Onus on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere for talks: India

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said India's consistent position has been that entire Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

Published: 28th July 2017 01:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2017 01:02 AM   |  A+A-

Union Minster General (retd.) V K Singh. | AFP

By PTI

NEW DELHI: There can be no compromise on the issue of cross border terrorism and the onus is on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere for a constructive and comprehensive bilateral dialogue, the government told the Rajya Sabha today.

In response to a question, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said India's consistent position has been that entire Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and a part of the territory of the state has been under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

"India is committed to addressing all outstanding issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, bilaterally and through peaceful means in accordance with Simla agreement and Lahore declaration," he said.

At the same time, he asserted that an environment free from terror, hostility and violence is required for a meaningful dialogue.

Singh said India has consistently called upon Pakistan to abide by its commitment of not allowing any territory under its control to be used against India in any manner and to respect the sanctity of the international border and line of control.

"The onus is on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere for a constructive and substantive comprehensive bilateral dialogue," he said.

The minister said it was not true that bilateral relations between the two countries have been very tense in the last three years.

He identified Pathankot terror attack, cross border terrorism, ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces and death penalty handed down to "innocent" Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav as reasons preventing forward movement in bilateral ties.

Singh said there was considerable improvement in bilateral ties during 2014 and 2015.

To a separate question, he said more than hundred Indian fishermen along with 19 boats were apprehended by Pakistani authorities in the intervening night of March 25 and 26.

He said Pakistan had acknowledged custody of a total of 494 fishermen believed to be Indian who are in Pakistani jails, adding 77 Indian fishermen were repatriated on July 10.

Singh said 10 civilian prisoners and 9 fishermen from Pakistan were released by India in 2016 while 42 civilian prisoners and 22 fishermen were freed till July 25.

Replying to another query, Singh said the MEA has received information concerning attacks on 57 Indians in 18 countries during 2016.

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