Coimbatore: Amid demands by opposition parties to suspend talks with Pakistan in the backdrop of killing of five Indian soldiers and the national outrage it generated, Union Minister for State for HRD Shashi Tharoor on Friday favoured continuing dialogue with the neighbour in the interest of the nation.
"Continuing dialogue and keeping peace with Pakistan was in India's national interest", Tharoor said. Replying to a specific question whether to continue dialogue with Pakistan in the wake of the killing of Indian soldiers on Line of Control, Tharoor said, "though the issue was not concerned with his ministry, but as a larger issue, yes, the country should have dialogues with Pakistan, keeping in mind the national interest."
"We want to end poverty in the country, we want to focus on the domestic transformation of the country. We will not be able to achieve this if the country is distracted by hostility on its borders. Therefore, we still need to have dialogue with Pakistan", Tharoor said on the sidelines of the inauguration the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of CMS Educational Institutions.
There have been rising demands from all quarters to stop all talks with Pakistan until they take steps to curb terror.
"We should be careful not to take any steps that would play into the hands of those who are aiming to derail peace whether they are in Pakistan or in India or anywhere else in the world," Tharoor said. Opposition parties, including the BJP have been urging the Centre not to hold talks with Pakistan at any level.