If Pakistan responds properly, talks can be resumed: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh on 'talks with Pakistan'
Bhuj (Gujarat), Sept 11: The stalled talks between India and Pakistan can be resumed if the neighbouring country "responds properly", Home Minister Rajnath Singh indicated today.

"If Pakistan responds properly, talks can be held," he told reporters here when asked whether there is any possibility of resuming the stalled dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Singh, however, but did not elaborate. The Home Minister is here as part of his two-day tour to some of the border posts to asses the situation along the international border with Pakistan. Singh said India wants to improve its relations with Pakistan. "Neighbour is neighbour. Friend can be changed but neighbour cannot be changed. We also want that our relations with our neighbour improves," he said.

The Home Minister's statement came a few days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj indicated that there may be a window for resumption of talks with Pakistan. "There is no full stop in diplomacy, it's always commas and semi-colons. And, after all this, people always move forward. There are no full stops in diplomatic journeys", she had said.

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said today in New Delhi that he "could not agree more" with Swaraj's comments, maintaining that the time has come for making a "new beginning" in bilateral ties. India had cancelled a scheduled Foreign Secretary level talks with Pakistan last month after the Pakistan High Commissioner met some of the separatist leaders from Jammu and Kashmir days before the meeting.

The Pakistan envoy went ahead with his meetings with separatist leaders despite New Delhi making it clear that if he chooses to talk to the separatists, India will cancel Foreign Secretary-level talks.


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