Ready to resolve all issues: PM
'Nothing To Fear From India'
LALIT K JHA
Washington, Nov 20: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said India is ready to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan “on the condition that it will not allow its territory to be used against its neighbour.”
“We are committed to resolve all the outstanding issues with Pakistan through bilateral negotiations. Our only condition is that Pakistan should not allow its territory to be used for acts of violence against India,” Dr Singh said in an interview with the Washington Post ahead of his visit to the US.
“If Pakistan really honours that commitment, we can go back to negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues between us,” he said.
He, however, asserted that Pakistan has “nothing to fear” from India, and it was a “tragedy” that Pakistan has come to the point of using “terror as an instrument of state policy”.
Singh said India has been a victim of “Pakistan-aided terrorism,” and intelligence reports still suggest that militants based in that country are planning attacks in India similar to last year’s Mumbai carnage.
“Every day I receive intelligence reports saying that militants based in Pakistan are planning other similar acts,” Singh said in the interview that would be carried in the daily’s print edition on Sunday – the day of his arrival here.
Asked about actions being taken by Pakistan to bring to book those involved in the last year Mumbai attack, the Prime Minister said they have not done enough.
“As far as perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre are concerned, (Pakistan) has taken some steps but not enough,” he said.
Singh also expressed concern about the rise of militancy in Pakistan and said militants increasing grip over several parts of the country was a threat to India’s security as well.
“Now if the Taliban and Al-Qaeda type of terror, which in the past was located in Pakistan’s FATA, gets transferred to the mainland of Pakistan, I think it has very serious consequences for our own security,” he said.
“We would not like terrorism to lead to a situation where civilian government is only a nominal government,” he said.
Singh said there appears to be a mismatch between the US’ and Pakistan’s objectives in Afghanistan and observed that he does not see Islamabad fully committed to the war against terrorism.
“As far as Afghanistan is concerned, I am not sure whether the US and Pakistan have the same objectives,” he said. While Pakistan, he said, would like the US to get out of Afghanistan soon, the US objectives are to get Pakistan to deal with the Taliban.
“Pakistan would like Afghanistan to be under its control. I don’t see Pakistan wholeheartedly in support of action against the Taliban in Afghanistan,” Singh said.
Hoping that the US and the global community will stay involved in Afghanistan, Singh said a victory for the Taliban would have “catastrophic consequences” for the world, particularly for South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.
“We (in India) of course have more immediate concerns. We are victims of terrorism and the extremist ideologies of the type that the Taliban represent. If this is not checked, this could destabilise our country,” the Prime Minister said.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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