Pak suspends peace process after snubbing India on terror probe

07 April 2016

Pakistan has suspended the peace process with India, initiated by prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi, days after its joint probe team made a recce of the terror trail around Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, only to snub India's demand to bring the Pakistani terrorists to book.

Pakistani envoy Abdul BasitIn a statement issued today, Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit said the peace process with India has been 'suspended'.

"I think at present, the peace process between India and Pakistan is suspended", Basit said, adding, "As far as I know there is no meeting scheduled between two foreign secretaries yet."

"Let's see if we are able to commence the dialogue process," Pakistan High Commissioner added.

He also denied the possibility of an NIA team from India visiting Pakistan for the probe.

"Not about reciprocity but co-operation of our two countries. Personally feel that this whole investigation isn't about reciprocity, but about extending co-op to get to the bottom on this," Basit said when asked if NIA team will be allowed to visit Pakistan.

"There shouldn't be any doubt that Pak wants to have a normal and peaceful relationship with India. We all are aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and destabilise it. They are bound to fail as the people of Pakistan are united to effectively counter anti-Pakistan subversive activities on basis of sovereign equality and mutual interest. There is national consensus on this in Pakistan," he further said.

"In last one month, authorities arrested scores of terror operatives with foreign linkages," Basit added.

"We all are aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and destabilise the country, The recent arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav in Pakistan irrefutably corroborates what Pakistan has been saying all along. They're bound to fail as the people of Pakistan are united to effectively counter anti-Pakistan subversive activities?," the Pakistani envoy alleged.

"What we need is to engage uninterruptedly, comprehensively, and meaningfully. 19th Saarc Summit will be held in Islamabad in November this year. We sincerely hope the summit, building on the past achievements, would help create more synergies and win-win situations," he said.

"It is the J&K dispute that is the root cause of mutual distrust and other bilateral issues," Basit maintained.

On Yadav, he said, "Indian request is under consideration, but can't say when they would be given consular access."

India's foreign office on Wednesday asserted that terrorism remained the focal point in the relationship between the two nations and will continue to be so until the issue is addressed 'effectively'.

Speaking in New Delhi, foreign secretary S Jaishankar stated that one change in the relationship between the two nations has been the centrality of addressing the issue of terrorism.

''That factor was reflected when the two prime ministers met in UFA and the two NSAs met in Bangkok. Until we are able to address the issue effectively, it is hard for us to say that the relationship is normal. This is what puts Pakistan in a different category than other neighbours and this is not an issue that comes up with other neighbours. So, yes terrorism remains the focus of our relationship and Pathankot has made it so as well,'' Jaishankar said.

He also said that given the challenges in the relationship between the two nations, India had fared well in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism.

Talking about China collaborating with Pakistan to block India's proposal to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, he added that the matter had been taken up with Beijing at a higher level.

''My sense is that the particular issue that you referred to is something we have taken up with the Chinese. We have taken it up at a sort of very high level and we will continue to pursue this with the Chinese,'' Jaishankar said.

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