India will continue to act firmly and decisively against cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan, a senior diplomatic official told the United States Security Council on Tuesday.

Kajal Bhat, counsellor in the country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, made the statement during an open debate on “peace and security through preventive diplomacy”.

“India desires normal neighbourly relations with all countries, including Pakistan, and is committed to addressing outstanding issues, if any, bilaterally and peacefully in accordance with the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration,” the Indian representative said.

However, Bhat added that any meaningful dialogue can only take place in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. “The onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere,” she said. “Till then, India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism.”

The Indian representative was responding to remarks made by Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, earlier in the debate. Akram had said that it should be a high priority for the Security Council and the United Nations Secretary General to promote a “fair and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute” and to end…

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