Sticking to the tough line on talks between the Hurriyat and Pakistan, Defence and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Pakistan must make a “conscious” choice for peace. India, he said, was "ready to speak to Pakistan" and is "willing to normalise the relationship" but "then there are a few red lines" he said to a group of Indian and international investors at the India Economic Summit in Delhi.
Criticising the decision of the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to invite separatist leaders for talks just ahead of foreign secretary level talks in August, that led to India’s cancellation, Mr. Jaitley said, “ I think a new red line has to be drawn in Pakistan to reconsider this question that who they want to speak to? Do they want to speak to the Government of India or they want to speak to those who want to break India."
Mr. Jaitley’s comments come three weeks ahead of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu, where PM Modi and PM Nawaz Sharif are expected to attend, but no bilateral talks have been scheduled. Describing ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the LoC and international border, he said, “"That's not an environment for a dialogue... India would like to normalise the relationship. But whether Pakistan wants to normalise the relationship depends on Pakistan."