India reiterates conditional dialogue offer
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Aug 12: India is willing to hold sustained dialogue with Pakistan if Islamabad gives an assurance that its soil will not be used to direct attacks and foment anti-India feelings, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said Thursday.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Krishna said there was uninterrupted dialogue from 2004 till the Mumbai attack. “The attack in Mumbai was a point where we had to discontinue the composite dialogue,” he said.
“India will be willing to hold sustained dialogue with Pakistan” if the Islamic nation was to guarantee that its “soil is not going to be directed for attacks (against India) and foment anti-India feelings,” he said.
“The biggest confidence building measure that Pakistan can do is to prevent any future attack (on India),” Krishna said.
“We would like to have friendly, cordial and cooperative relations with Pakistan,” he said.
The Prime Ministers of the two countries had in Thimpu identified trust deficit as the impeding factor which needed to be bridged.
Meeting of foreign secretaries and foreign ministers of the two countries was decided as one of the steps to lessen trust deficit.
“Our effort has been to fulfil that mandate given to us by the Prime Minister,” he said.
Krishna said India considers Hafiz Saeed, leader of Jamaat-ud-Daawa as the mastermind of the Mumbai attack.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan becomes subjective whenever we bring Hafiz Saeed and others in discussion,” he said. “We certainly would like Pakistan to be helpful and cooperative with India so we can live in peace with each other.”
“The fulfilment, in letter and spirit, of the solemn commitment given by the leaders of Pakistan, at the highest level, of not allowing territory under Pakistan’s control to be used for any activity directed against India, would be the biggest confidence building measure,” he said.
He called for “credible and firm action against militant groups and their leaders.
Krishna said he conveyed India’s willingness to have further interaction on pressing humanitarian issues “as part of a step-by-step, graduated and forward looking approach to expanding dialogue to cover all issues of mutual interest and concern.”
He said despite differences of opinion on the way forward on a few issues, there was a broad understanding on a number of other issues.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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