Call off talks with Pak: Yashwant Sinha after Pathankot attack

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New Delhi, Jan 5: Criticising the Modi government's foreign policy on Pakistan, BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha today said India should call off planned talks with the neighbouring country in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack.

"From the beginning, I have been opposed to this kind of strategic dialogue with Pakistan as talks and terror cannot go together. The Government has changed its policy," Sinha, a former External Affairs Minister, said.

Call off talks with Pak: Yashwant Sinha

India and Pakistan are due to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks next week.

[Security policy towards Pakistan needs change: Army chief]

"What we are doing today is the same mistake as UPA government was doing. This is not the BJP policy. We are not in favour of any kind of talks and we should stop all talks with Pakistan," Sinha told PTI.

The veteran BJP leader said India during the Vajpayee government had made it clear to Pakistan that talks will happen only after the neighbouring country acted against those in Pakistan promoting terror against India and both the UPA and present government have reversed the gains taken in 2004.

"There is also no action on the part of Pakistan and resuming the dialogue process is walking into Pakistan's trap.

"We should tell Pakistan that we will watch your behaviour for sometime. That you are on probation. We will watch your action on all the evidence that we have given to you on Mumbai and other attacks and see what action you take. Only then would there be a possibility of any talks further," he said.

Sinha said towards the end of his regime in 2004, Vajpayee also realised this and in the formulation adopted at the joint statement on January 6, 2004 in Islamabad on the margins of the SAARC Summit, it was made clear by India that Pakistan will first stop terror and then start the dialogue.

He said the statement mentioned that Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used for violence and terror against India and then we will resume the dialogue process and thus Pakistan was supposed to stop export of terror to India and only then would talks with them start.

"The UPA government did not follow this process and they resumed the dialogue with Pakistan. They completely reversed what we achieved in January 2004 and what we agreed upon with Pakistan that terror will be allowed to impede the peace process," he said, adding what has happened now is that we have resumed full scale dialogue with Pakistan for which we used to criticise Manmohan Singh regime.

Sinha said when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went to Pakistan, India agreed to holding a comprehensive dialogue where the entire range of issues are to be discussed.

"Earlier the issue of statement at Ufa reiterated the Vajpayee line. The statement at Pakistan was a clear departure from the earlier line. The Ufa line was rejected by Pakistan and they were interested in a composite dialogue and not just on terror.

"We should hold Pakistan to its earlier commitment which was redirected at Ufa and watch the situation for sometime. If you are convinced that it has given up sponsoring terror, then we can consider to start the dialogue process.

PTI 

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