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Choose Between Govt and Separatists: Jaitley Tells Pak

Kolkata
File- PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

In a stern message to Pakistan, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today said it was for the neighbouring country to decide whether it wants to talk to the Indian government or the separatists.

"After coming to power, we took a decision to call all our neighbours to the swearing-in ceremony. We also decided that there will be Foreign Secretary-level talks. But as we had stated earlier terrorism and talks can't go hand in hand," Jaitley said at a gathering of BJP leaders and intellectuals here.

"When Pakistan started showing its true colours. We had shown the guts to take a hard decision. You have to decide whether you want to talk to the separatists or with the Indian government. What kind of relation do you want? If you want to talk to separatists, then you can do that first. In order to take such a decision you ought to have the strength," Jaitley said.

India recently called off talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries scheduled for August 25, telling Pakistan bluntly to choose between an Indo-Pak dialogue or hobnobbing with the separatists, after objecting to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's consultation with separatist Hurriyat leaders.

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PEOPLE: Arun Jaitley
PLACES: Pakistan
SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 24 August, 2014
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