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Indo-Pak talks: Parties welcome but caution govt


New Delhi, Dec 14: As India prepares to re-start dialogue with Pakistan, political parties from various hues today welcomed it even though some asked the government to be alert in view of the neighbouring country's history of "stabbing in the back" and a few wondered whether it could be trusted.

13 members from various parties made their observations and asked questions in Lok Sabha after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a statement on the resumption of the dialogue process.

Indo-Pak talks: Parties welcome but caution govt

All of them welcomed the initiation of the dialogue process as they batted for peaceful relations with Pakistan. However, several members talked about the past and cited how Pakistan had "stabbed" India in the back repeatedly.

B Mahtab of BJD referred to the 26/11 incident and the lingering case in Pakistan.

"A mere assurance has been given to us that action will be taken against them (Mumbai terror attack perpetrators)... But are we not all aware that since last so many years what Pakistan has been saying, it has not been keeping its word?

"This happened in the form of the Kargil war (of 1999) after our Prime Minister had gone there in a bus trip and extended a hand of friendship but we were stabbed in the back," Mahtab said.

Read More: Talks with Pakistan to start new chapter of peace: Sushma Swaraj

Echoing similar views, Vinayak Raut (Shiv Sena) said: "Pakistan has a history of stabbing in the back. We should be wary of trusting Pakistan and remain alert."

Jayadev Galla (TDP) asked government if it was confident that Pakistan's long-held policy of "plausible deniability" is ending or they continue to follow the same path. "If so, how do we get rid of the trust-deficit between the two countries?"

A P Jithender Reddy (TRS) said India has to be "alert" and not be at ease thinking that Minister for External Affairs had gone there and everything will be all right.

"I have my doubt in that aspect. So, some action has to be really taken and security should be enhanced," Reddy said.

Welcoming the decision to have talks, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said: "When relations between the two countries turn sour, its people of Jammu & Kashmir who suffer the maximum". She said former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had taken steps to better relation between two countries and between 2003 to 2008 there was ceasefire along the border.

She wanted to know if some more cross-LoC confidence-building measures were in the offing. Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM), while welcoming the resumption of dialogue, termed it a "clumsy climbdown" by India. "This is a procedural breakthrough but not a substantive breakthrough." Swaraj replied to members' concern saying: "Whenever talks happen, that is based on trust... There is a need to bridge the gulf (with Pakistan)".


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