October 20, 2020
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MEA Press Briefing

'The Intention Is To Create A Conducive Atmosphere..'

'..which necessarily requires an end to cross border terrorism and the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and the telephone conversation we hope will contribute to that end,' says the Official MEA Spokesperson. Excerpts.

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'The Intention Is To Create A Conducive Atmosphere..'

(On Indo-Pak relations) What will be next step? What does India feel will happen next?

Navtej Sarna: You already have the details of the telephonic conversation between the two Prime Ministers. The issues and the consideration have been spelt out in those details themselves. These are elements intended to move forward bilateral relations. These include people to people links, cultural exchanges, economic cooperation and a couple of other issues like civil aviation, sporting links. These are the issues which the two Prime Ministers have agreed to consider. Now how, what is to move forward and when, I am afraid I wouldn’t have an answer. Fortunately I am supposed to be a spokesperson, not a soothsayer.

Inaudible Question

No as far as I know, no. The conversation has taken place. You have the details of the conversation.

Minister of State Shri Digvijay Singh said talks shall begin soon in June?

I haven’t seen this quotation after the conversation.

Now how will things move forward?

As I said, I have told you what are the elements agreed for consideration. How each one of them or which one of them will move forward at which stage I can’t say. But the intention of course is to create a conducive atmosphere which necessarily requires an end to cross border terrorism and the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and the telephone conversation we hope will contribute to that end.

When is the EAM expected back from his visit?

He is expected tonight.

and Mr. Sibal?

He is also expected tonight.

Any prodding of Pakistan by Washington to make the phone call?

I am not going to comment on relations between two other countries.

What about the return of the High Commissioner?

I think you have to see the dynamics of the process and how these things move. A telephone conversation has taken place between the two Prime Ministers. Certain elements have been pointed out for consideration as a start. We have to look at these elements. Whether there is a specific movement on which and when - I think that would really be guesswork at this stage and I am not going to attempt that.

How is the improvement of the economic cooperation envisaged?

The improvement of economic cooperation is a self-evident factor. Its anything which increases and facilitates bilateral trade, regional trade, economic cooperation which is envisaged under the SAARC framework in which we have been hoping for meaningful substantive progress. So all these elements make up economic cooperation.

You said specifics would be guess work. But there are specifics like the return of High Commissioner, …?

But to say what is going to take place, when and how is going to be a guess work. Its too early for me to say at this stage what are the specifics of any movement. You have to understand that this has been a process in which our Prime Minister has extended his hand of friendship. There was a telephone call from Pakistan. The two Prime Ministers have agreed to consider as a start certain elements like economic cooperation improvement, improvement in people to people contacts, etc and we have to take it from there.

Has there been any communication from Pakistan at any level after the phone call?

Not that I am aware of.

A group of Parliamentarians from Pakistan were to come to India. Any news on that?

I have seen that news report. But I have not been able to confirm any of the elements in that. I will be able to get back to you.

On the visit of NSA to Washington?

I think I have briefed you on this. He is expected to meet his counterpart, the National Security Advisor. The other meetings as confirmed and when we receive them we will share with you. He is going to speak at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York.

What will be the agenda of Shri Brajesh Mishra in Washington?

I think when the National Security Advisor goes, essentially the discussion will be India-US bilateral strategic relations, other aspects of bilateral relations. Naturally regional and international issues will come up for discussions with NSA and other interlocutors from the US Government.

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