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India will not stop people-to-people contact with Pakistan Jaishankar

India will not stop people-to-people contact with Pakistan: Jaishankar

The Indian government on Tuesday announced it will not stop people-to-people contact with Pakistan despite tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

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Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar during a meeting with Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs said, “People-to-people contact will continue and there is no plan to stop it.”

Tensions between Pakistan and India have escalated over New Delhi’s gross human rights violations in held-Kashmir and the Uri base attack. When asked by members of the panel if India wanted to resume dialogue with its “hostile western neighbour”, the foreign secretary said, “Engagement with Pakistan diplomatically in future was on the table but the date and time of any such engagement will be of New Delhi’s choosing.”

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“We had been engaging with Pakistan and will do so in future. But right now, we don’t have any fixed calendar even for talks at the secretary-level,” Jaishankar told the panel.

The secretary also said that surgical strikes on militant bases in Azad Kashmir last month had given Islamabad “a taste of what India is capable of”. He confirmed that Indian forces had conducted targeted operations across the Line of Control (LoC) but that it was not publicised. “If you are asking whether our troops crossed the LoC and conducted calibrated operations before, the answer is yes. If you are asking if they achieved their targets and returned to India, the answer is also yes,” Jaishankar was quoted as saying.

The Uri attacks have also taken its toll on the Indian film industry where it has become extremely difficult for Pakistani actors to work in Bollywood. India’s extremist party, MNS, has threatened Pakistani actors to leave, while the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) passed a motion barring artistes from the neighbouring country to work in the industry.

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Cinema owners and Exhibitors Association of India has also announced it will not screen movies featuring Pakistani actors in four states Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka.

New Delhi has repeatedly and without any concrete proof blamed Pakistan for the Uri base attack in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Then it claimed to have carried out ‘surgical strikes’ in response but this claim was rubbished by Pakistan. The Modi govt has in fact also been criticised by opposition parties in India for failing to provide any satisfactory and concrete evidence to back its claim.

This article originally appeared on Hindustan Times

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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