Talks with Pak possible only in terror-free atmosphere: India

Wednesday 09th August 2023 07:41 EDT

New Delhi asked Islamabad to first establish conditions favorable for talks in the form of an atmosphere free of terror in response to Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's most recent peace offer, stating that India wants normal ties with all of its neighbors, including Pakistan.

“We have seen reports regarding comments by the Pakistan Prime Minister on this issue. India’s clear and consistent position on this is well known,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

“We desire normal neighbourly relations with all our neighbours including Pakistan. For this an environment free of terror and hostility is imperative,” he added.

In his remarks earlier this week, Sharif had offered to hold talks with India to address all serious and outstanding issues saying that “war is not an option” for both countries. “We are prepared to talk with everyone, even with our neighbour, provided that the neighbour is serious enough to talk about serious matters on the table because war is no longer an option,” he said.

Since India's decision to abolish Jammu and Kashmir's special status in 2019 and Islamabad's subsequent recall of the Pakistani high commissioner, bilateral relations with Pakistan have deteriorated.

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