Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that India will not respond to Pakistan’s invitation to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in Islamabad, ANI reported. She said India will not attend the event till Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism.
“I already visited Pakistan, and it was me only who started the comprehensive bilateral dialogue,” Swaraj said, according to NDTV. “But what happened after that? Pathankot. What happened after that? Uri. So we have to take the big picture.”
The external affairs minister added that the opening of the Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan does not imply resumption of dialogue. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone for the Pakistani side of the proposed corridor later in the day.
“Bilateral dialogues and Kartarpur corridor are two different things,” she said. “I am very happy that while for the last 20 years, the government of India has been asking for this Kartarpur corridor, for the first time, Pakistan responded positively.”
Swaraj added: “But that doesn’t mean that bilateral dialogue will start. We always say terror and talks can’t go together. The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start.”
Swaraj and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had rejected the Pakistan government’s invitation to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor. However, Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu is in Pakistan to attend the event in an unofficial capacity.