India ready to talk with Pakistan, if it reciprocates: Vice President

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Jammu, May 28 (IANS) Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that India is ready to hold a dialogue with anyone, including Pakistan, provided the initiative is reciprocated.

Addressing scientists at the Indian Institute of Integrated Medicine (IIIM) here, the Vice President said: “We want good relations with all, including Pakistan. We don’t have problem in talking with India’s neighbours, including our immediate neighbour, but they also have to reciprocate.”

His comments came on a day when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the media in Delhi that India is ready for talks with Pakistan if it stopped aiding terrorism.

“We are always ready for talks with Pakistan. We have never said we are not ready for talks. But there is a caveat — terror and talks don’t go together,” she said.

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Vice President Naidu also reminded his audience that peace was a prerequisite for progress and development anywhere in the world.

“In the growing world of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation, nobody can afford to remain isolated. If other parts of the country are progressing, why should Jammu and Kashmir lag behind. We should put this question to ourselves to find the answer.”

“Health and wealth are interlinked. A healthy state leads to a wealthy state. Here, health means peace, law and order, harmony, and overall development.

“It is up to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether they want to live in the present situation or want to live in peace,” Naidu said.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh too has said that the Centre is ready to speak to everyone, including separatist Hurriyat leaders.

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–IANS

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