India not to attend SAARC summit; Swaraj says bilateral dialogue, Kartarpur corridor different things

Hyderabad, Publish Date: Nov 28 2018

India won’t attend the proposed Saarc Summit in Pakistan and there will be no dialogue with Islamabad until it stops sponsoring militancy, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Wednesday.

Sushma Swaraj said that New Delhi will not participate in the Saarc summit and it was not responding to an invite from Pakistan for Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the gathering of South Asian leaders.

“As I said, unless and until Pakistan stops Millitants activities in India, there will be no dialogue and we will not participate in Saarc,” she told the media here.

Modi will be invited to Pakistan for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammed Faisal said on Tuesday.

The Saarc Summit of 2016 which was to be held in Pakistan was cancelled after India boycotted the event, triggering a pullout by Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that talks and cannot go together.

She said that although India welcomed the development of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, it would not have any dialogue with Islamabad till it stopped sponsoring militancy.

“Bilateral dialogues and Kartarpur corridor are two different things. I am very happy that for the last 20 years, rather many years, the government of India has been asking for this Kartarpur corridor and for the first time Pakistan responded positively,” she said. ( IANS )