Jammu: A prominent Muslim cleric on Sunday said India should not holds talks with Pakistan unless it stops cross border terrorism as no engagement with the neighbouring country "is possible at the cost of safety and security of our countrymen".
Against the backdrop of the cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan, Syed Athar Hussain Dehlavi, chief of the Anjuman Minhaje Rasool, also said that while Pakistan itself was "struggling for its survival", its other neighbours like Iran and Afghanistan, too, have become victims of the terrorism emanating from its soil.
"No dialogue with Pakistan is possible at the cost of the safety and security of our countrymen. Pakistan itself is struggling for its survival given the internal conditions of that country," Dehlavi told reporters here.
"Not only India, countries like Iran and Afghanistan, too, are victims of terrorism emanating from the soil of Pakistan," he said.
Referring to a recent row surrounding a Commonwealth event which was to be staged in Islamabad, he said that while Pakistan cannot give respect to the elected Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, it was adamant on inviting separatist leaders for a meeting with their National Security Advisor (NSA).
"I am happy that the talks have been called off and the onus lies on Pakistan, which has been pursuing a policy of deceit and back-stabbing whenever India tries to extend a hand of peace," he said.
Meanwhile, asking the government to extend all basic facilities to the residents of the bordering areas "who have fallen victim to the bullets from the Pakistani side", Dehlavi said that on a tour of the bordering areas of Jammu, he had found that the people there lacked basic facilities.
He said it was only during elections that the politicians remember the border residents and the army, but forget them after being elected to power.