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Ignoring demands by opposition parties to suspend talks with Pakistan after five Indian soldiers were killed on Tuesday in an ambush and the national outrage it generated, Union Minister for State for Human Resource Develoment (HRD) Sashi Tharoor said on Friday he favours continuing dialogue with Pakistan in the interest of the nation.
"Continuing dialogue and keeping peace with Pakistan is in India's national interest", Tharoor told reporters at Coimbatore.
Replying to a specific question as to whether dialogue with Pakistan is to be continued in the wake of the attack across the Line of Control in the Poonch Sector, Tharoor said that it would make sense for India to keep talking for benefit in the long run.
"In order to address poverty in the country, our focus must be 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. We should be careful not to take any steps that would play into the hands of those who are aiming to derail the process of peace, whether they are in Pakistan or in India, or anywhere else in the world", Tharoor said.
Opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been urging the Centre not to hold talks with Pakistan at any level.
Stating that 116 Bills were pending for approval of the Parliament in this monsoon session, Tharoor expressed apprehension that they would not be passed in the ongoing Monsoon session of the Parliament.
He said that some in the political system, mainly opposition parties, tend to disrupt proceedings of the Parliament rather than helping in its functioning, adding that they have to answer why important and essential bills were kept pending.