Sushma Swaraj questions Imran Khan's 'statesmanship' and 'generosity', asks Pakistan to hand over Masood Azhar to India

EAM Swaraj has asked Pakistan to hand over Masood Azhar to India. 

Sushma Swaraj questions Imran Khan's 'statesmanship' and 'generosity', asks Pakistan to hand over Masood Azhar to India

NEW DELHI: Sending out a strong message to Pakistan, India on Wednesday said that teror and talks can't go together. 

This was conveyed to Pakistan by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who said that while India will continue to engage with Islamabad at appropriate forums, it needs to show 'some action' against the terror groups operating from its soil.

 

The EAM made these remarks while addressing a press conference during which she stated that India has conveyed to several countries after the Pulwama attack that India will not escalate the situation with Pakistan but if there is any other terror attack from that country, then it will not remain silent.

She was addressing a think tank on Narendra Modi government's foreign policy.

Swaraj continued to corner Pakistan by saying that Islamabad was worried that India would escalate the situation in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.

"I used to receive calls from foreign ministers who used to first condole the Pulwama attack, then express their solidarity and then they used to softly say that we think India will not escalate the situation," she said.

"To which I used to reply that no, I assure you India will not escalate the situation but if there is any other terror attack then we will not remain silent as we cannot say Pulwama as our destiny," she said.

The EAM also raised serious doubts over Pakistan PM's ''generosity and statesmanship'' in post-Pulwama attack scenario and the return of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan after an aerial dogfight, to India.

''We are ready to engage with Pakistan in atmosphere free from terror. Some people say Imran Khan is a statesman, if he is so generous then he should hand over JeM chief Masood Azhar to India. Let's see how generous he is,'' the EAM said.

The February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, in which at least 40 troopers were killed, has escalated tension between the two nuclear-powered countries.

Further aggravating the situation, Indian Air Force fighter jets bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad's biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan on February 26.

Pakistan retaliated by making an unsuccessful bid to target Indian military installations, which was thwarted by IAF.