New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): India on Thursday reiterated that it desires normal relations with Pakistan, however, Islamabad must work towards creating a "conducive atmosphere", including taking "credible verifiable and irreversible actions" to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross border terrorism.
On Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's comments about India's role in Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs said it is for the Afghan people to decide their partners and the size of the partnership.
In a recent interview with Afghan ToloNews, Qureshi said Islamabad feels that New Delhi's presence in the war-torn country is perhaps "larger than it ought to be".
"India has brought electricity, dams, schools, healthcare, and community projects to Afghanistan. And the world knows what Pakistan has brought to Afghanistan," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly briefing.
On bilateral relations with Pakistan, Bagchi said: "We (India) desire normal relations with all our neighbours including Pakistan. Pakistan must work towards creating a conducive atmosphere including by taking credible verifiable and irreversible actions to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross border terrorism against India in any manner."The Indian government made similar remarks in a debate on the annual report of the UN Security Council to the General Assembly on June 11.
Delivering the country's statement on the Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly 78th plenary meeting, R. Madhu Sudan, Counselor at Permanent Mission of India to the UN, said that issues between India and Pakistan should be resolved bilaterally and the onus is on Islamabad to create a conducive atmosphere by taking "credible, verifiable" action to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross terrorism.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have spiked since New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.
In recent months, Pakistani political and army leadership seems to have toned down rhetoric against India.
Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in April said that a stable relationship between India and Pakistan is key to unlocking the potential of South and Central Asia by ensuring connectivity between East and West Asia."We feel it is time to bury the past and move forward," he said, adding that the onus for meaningful dialogue rests with India.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had also said that India would have to take the first step for improving bilateral relations by addressing the Kashmir issue.
In February, India and Pakistan had announced that they had agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) which was followed by Indus water talks, sporting visas and other measures. (ANI)