Onus on Pakistan to create environment free of terror and hostility: India

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New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) India on Thursday said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility, days after Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's comments that it is time to extend a 'hand of peace in all directions'. 'Our position is well-known. India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence,' external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

He was asked to comment on Bajwa's remarks.

'The onus is on Pakistan for creating such an environment,' Srivastava said.

In an address at the graduation ceremony of Pakistan Air Force cadets, Gen Bajwa on Tuesday said Pakistan was firmly committed to the ideal of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence.

'It is time to extend a hand of peace in all directions,' he said in comments largely seen as a message to India.

The ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after India's war planes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot in Pakistan in February 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack.

The relations further deteriorated after India in August 2019 announced withdrawing special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.

Notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic in the region, Pakistan has been resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC and making concerted efforts to push militants into Kashmir. PTI MPB ZMN