India will decide time and place of peace talks with Pakistan, says government

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New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2017 10:34:59 AM

Despite situations getting better at Line of Control (LoC) and at Kashmir, a top government official has ruled out the possibility of peace talks with Pakistan.

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Despite situations getting better at Line of Control (LoC) and at Kashmir, a top government official has ruled out the possibility of peace talks with Pakistan. While speaking to the Indian Express, he said that India will decide a time and place of its own choosing on this issue. He also mentioned that Hafeez Saeed’s house arrest last month was due to more than one reasons and most of them had to do with internal conflicts in Pakistan.

“There are no back-channel talks with Pakistan currently on, nor do we have any intent to resume talks now. The process will not start till we are sure that we will gain something as a country. We desire peace but it will be on our own terms. Peace with Pakistan will be at the time and place of our choosing,” the top government source told. He believed that one major reason behind it was US President Donald Trump’s policy changes and India’s pressure to declare Pakistan a terror state.

He said, “Please note who else from LeT/JuD, besides Hafiz Saeed, has been put under house arrest. We had pressed only for the arrest of Hafiz Saeed but others have been arrested because the PML-N government in Pakistani Punjab is worried about the areas in the province which are its political stronghold. Nawaz Sharif has his own personal insecurities about Punjab and Shahbaz Sharif, his brother, who is the CM, has acted. Now that he has an army chief in General Bajwa, who is less confrontational than the previous one, General Raheel Sharif, Nawaz Sharif also has more space to act.”

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Talking about the ceasefire violations at the LoC, he said that such activities have increased since new Pakistan army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, took over on November 29. At the same time, he also mentioned that it is not possible to respond to every such incident and hold talks only when Pakistan wishes to.

“They have also noted the increasing instability in Balochistan, indigenous protests in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and the increasing attacks on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” he added.

He also ruled out the possibility pf linking with the CEPC for trade in the region by saying, “CEPC is not acceptable to India. It will be a bleeding artery for Pakistan and China. The gains to Pakistan are considerable but even now, it is being threatened by elements in Balochistan and frontier areas.”

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