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Pakistan, India Can’t Remain In This Phase, Need To Come Out

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“If India is ready, Pakistan will be willing. But if India is not ready, we can always wait. India has to make up its mind,” Abdul Basit said. Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said Monday that the two countries need to “talk to each other, break the ice”. He said both countries need to “bring diplomacy to centrestage” and “rather than talking at each other, it is important that you talk to each other”. But “if you immediately start saying Pakistan is a terrorist state… then you do not leave any room for cooperation,” he said.

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Asked about Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s threat to use nuclear weapons against India, Basit distanced himself from the comment, saying “such statements we have seen here in India also”. “Both our countries understand war is not really a solution to our problems and there is simply no room for conflict in a nuclear environment,” he said. To a query on the Indian soldier in Pakistani custody — on the day it announced the surgical strike, India said the soldier had strayed across and was not connected to the operation along the LoC — Basit said he was not aware of any “arrest at this point”. “I do not know if we have made any arrest… I think this was raised by your DGMO with our DGMO this morning but so far, at least I do not know if a soldier has been arrested by Pakistan,” he said.

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