NEW DELHI, India: The Indian minister of state for defence and planning Rao Inderjit Singh said on Wednesday that India cannot have talks with Pakistan when bullets are flying around.
“You cannot have talks in an atmosphere when bullets and mortar shells are being fired,” Singh was quoted as saying at a press conference by Zee News, in an apparent reference to the issue of repeated ceasefire violations on the Line of Control (LoC).
Singh said that India’s attitude toward Pakistan has been made clear by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The minister said that talks with Pakistan were called off when they held talks with separatists.
“We cannot have talks when bullets are flying around. We will have to wait and watch,” he added.
His statement comes at a time when the Indian premier and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif both are currently in Nepal to attend the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit.
Both the leaders are scheduled to hold meetings with other leaders; however, a bilateral meeting between Sharif and Modi is not scheduled yet.
In a statement after Sharif arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday to attend 18th SAARC Summit, he said that Pakistan is ready to hold talks with India but New Delhi will have to take the first step.
The prime minister said that cancellation of foreign secretary level talks was New Delhi’s unilateral decision, adding that ball is now in India’s court to resume talks with Pakistan.