New Delhi : External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a suo motu statement in the Parliament and shared her experience with legislators in the house. While addressing the MPs (Members of Parliament) in Rajya Sabha, Swaraj expressed hope that re-engaging with Pakistan under a ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ would mark beginning of peace and development. Recapitulating her last week’s visit to Islamabad, and the recent developments relating to ties between the two neighbors, the Minister said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the environment conference in Paris and had taken an initiative of ‘again re-engaging with each other.’
Swaraj said — The underlying sentiment, on which I am confident that this House concurs fully, was that the continued estrangement of two neighbors was a hurdle to the realization of our shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous region. She elaborated on the principal obstacles which posed deterrant to the growth of ties, and bringing the house’s attention directly on the matter of militancy, Swaraj stated that the matter of terrorism would have to be clearly and directly addressed, for which the PM had laid a discussion carpet earlier, which was spread further by the respective country’s NSAs recently, thereby, which Swaraj herself took forward and weaved into discussions with Pakistani counterparts during her recent tour.
She read out her statement amidst protests from the usual suspects — the members of several opposition parties, who, dug into the well and vociferously raised slogans on several issues. Swaraj said, the comprehensive ‘Bilateral Dialogue’ with Pakistan is aimed at removing hurdles in the path of a constructive engagement by addressing issues of concern. Also, it focused on avenues for exploring and establishing cooperative ties. She stated, initiatives on trade and connectivity, people-to-people exchanges and humanitarian issues would all, together, contribute to welfare of the entire region and promote better understanding and mutual trust. In her exact words — The new Dialogue, we sincerely hope, marks a new beginning also for peace and development in the whole region.