China not opposing membership of India in NSG, only talking of procedure: Sushma Swaraj

Swaraj said on Sunday China was not opposing India's entry to NSG even as Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar made an unannounced visit to Beijing on June 16-17 to secure its support.

Updated: Jun 20, 2016, 00:47 AM IST
China not opposing membership of India in NSG, only talking of procedure: Sushma Swaraj
Pic courtesy: ANI

Delhi: India on Sunday said that ties with Pakistan were complicated and made it clear that talks and terrorism could not go together. 

At the same time, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj clarified that Pakistan had not refused to allow an NIA team to visit that country to probe the Pathankot airbase attack case.

India has been maintaining that since JIT's visit was on a reciprocal basis, the NIA team investigating the case would like to visit Pakistan.

Swaraj said the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad had met the authorities on the issue twice and "they said they are analysing (the evidence). They have not refused (to allow NIA to visit). They just said they want more time."

'Terror and talks can't go hand-in-hand'

She added that the 'warmth and ease' in relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif could help resolve complex issues between the two neighbours.

Asserting that India wants to resolve all vexed issues with Pakistan through talks, Swaraj said the government was pursuing a three-point formula to deal with Islamabad the focus of which is that talks cannot go on if Pakistan does not take action to contain terror.

"First, we want to solve every issue thorough talks. Second, talks will be between India and Pakistan and no third country or party will be its part. Third, terror and talks will not go hand-in-hand," Swaraj said addressing a press conference.

Swaraj said there have been complex issues between the two countries and it would not be practical to expect their resolution soon.

The minister denied that South Asia was not getting adequate priority in the Modi government's foreign policy.

"In the last two years, India has emerged as a strong supporter and a friend in crisis to neighbouring countries," she said, referring to New Delhi's help to Nepal during the massive earthquake of 2015, as per IANS

'China not opposing India's NSG membership bid'

On the issue of NSG, Swaraj said that China was not opposing India's entry even as Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar made an unannounced visit to Beijing on June 16-17 to secure its support.

Stating that China is talking only about the criteria and procedures to be adopted for membership of the elite 48-nation atomic trading bloc, Swaraj said India was hopeful that it will be able to convince China to give its backing.

The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country's vote against India can scuttle its bid.

"China is not opposing membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria and procedure. I am hopeful that we would be able to convince China as well to support our entry to the NSG," she said, as per PTI.

"I think that there is a consensus which is being made and I am sure that India will become the member of the NSG this year," she said, adding, "The NSG entry is crucial for India's energy policy."

Swaraj said that instead of talking about criteria with respect to India's bid its credentials should be discussed.

The minister said as far as entry of Pakistan is concerned, India, being a non-member of the NSG, cannot comment on its entry and its role.

"But we will not oppose entry of any nation to the NSG. We think that the application of each country should be considered on the basis of their merit," she added.

Jaishankar's visit to Beijing on June 16-17 came a week ahead of the plenary meeting of the  NSG scheduled to be held in Seoul on June 24 where India's membership is likely to be discussed.

(With Agency inputs)