Pak Preventing Creation of 'Necessary Environment' for Talks: Union Minister

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Pak Preventing Creation of 'Necessary Environment' for Talks: Union Minister

Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh said India has taken note of comments by top Pakistan officials about their nuclear capabilities.


New Delhi:  India is willing to address all outstanding issues with Pakistan bilaterally and through peaceful means but Islamabad's continued support to terrorism has prevented creation of "necessary environment", Minister of State for External Affairs, General (Retired) VK Singh said today.

India, he asserted, is committed to safeguarding national security, including through maintenance of credible minimum nuclear deterrent.

"India is willing to address all outstanding bilateral issues with Pakistan through bilateral peaceful means. However, continued support by Pakistan to terrorism directed at us from the territory under Pakistan's control has prevented creation of necessary environment," Gen Singh told the Lok Sabha in reply to a question.

"Government has urged Pakistan on several occasions to fulfil its assurances, given and reiterated at the highest level, to put an end to anti-India activities on its soil and territories under its control," said the minister.

In response to another query, the former Army chief, said India has taken note of comments by a string of top functionaries in the Pakistani establishment about their nuclear capabilities.

Gen Singh referred to reported comments of Pakistan's Defence Minister Khwaja Asif that "use of nuclear weapons is an option as they are not merely kept for show as deterrents".

He also quoted Pakistan Prime Minister's adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz who had said, "Pakistan has been maintaining the stock of its nuclear arms at a minimum deterrence level against its conventional enemy (India)."

Gen Singh also mentioned about Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry's remark that Islamabad was fully capable of responding to any Indian aggression as it has developed short-range tactical nuclear weapons.

"Government continues to monitor all relevant developments in this regard and is committed to taking all necessary steps to safeguard national security in accordance with its own assesment. This includes the maintenance of a credible minimum nuclear deterrent," the minister said.


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