Congress targets PM as Indo-Pak talks hang in balance

New Delhi, Jan. 8 (ANI): As the talks between India and Pakistan looks in jeopardy in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Friday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making an unscheduled visit to Lahore and said there has been no progress in the dialogue between the two Asian neighbours.

Aiyar said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre should have set up a mechanism ahead of initiating dialogue with Islamabad.

“They should have thought about all this before going to Lahore because terrorist attacks have been taking place on India for many years now. Instead of discussing the affects of a terrorist attack on talks, the Prime Minister went to Lahore,” he told ANI here.

Aiyar, who was reacting to India’s decision to put the Foreign Secretary-level talks on hold till the time Pakistan initiates action against the perpetrators of the Pathankot attack, emphasized that the expectations went up post the Prime Minister’s Lahore visit.

“That is why a mechanism has to be developed at the lower-level to decide the future course of action with regard to the talks in the event of terrorist attacks,” he added.

Recalling the cancellation of Foreign Secretary-level talks in November last year after the Hurriyat leaders met Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit, Aiyar said, “We are (now) back to where we were in November.”

India has given strong indications that the side may call off the engagement if evidence emerges that Pakistan’s state actors were complicit in the attack on Pathankot’s air base.

Taking to the media here, MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup yesterday said the government’s policy towards Pakistan is clear and consistent.

“India wants friendly relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan. We have extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, but we will not countenance cross-border terrorist attacks,” Swarup said.

The MEA spokesperson said the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base has once again put renewed focus on the challenge posed by cross-border terrorism. (ANI)

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