Dialogue with Pakistan conditional: India
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Mar 22: Maintaining that there have been “grave provocations” from Pakistan, India has said there can be a meaningful dialogue with that country only if it fulfils its commitment, in letter and spirit, not to allow its territory to be used in any manner for activities against it.
It also maintained that there were “continuing concerns” on cross-border infiltration and ceasefire violations by Pakistan across the Lone of Control and International Border.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in its annual report 2009-10, said the position that there can be a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan only if it fulfils its commitment, in letter and spirit, not to allow its territory to be used in any manner for activities against India was reiterated on several occasions.
“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conveyed the deep anger and hurt of the people of India due to the persistence of terror attacks on our people, urged Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani not to make any distinction between different terrorist organisations, and told him that operations of all militant groups that threaten India must permanently end,” it said.
Despite 26/11 attack on Mumbai and following “grave provocations from Pakistan”, the people-to-people contacts were allowed to continue and the transport links established in the previous rounds of the Composite Dialogue continued to operate successfully, facilitating the movement of people and bilateral trade.
Travel and trade on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot routes has been continuing and in addition, five points for on-foot crossing at Nauseri-Tithwal, Chakoti-Uri, Hajipur-Uri, Rawalakot-Poonch and Tattapani-Mendhar, opened to facilitate humanitarian work after the earthquake in 2005, have also been allowed to operate as earlier, it said.
India has also “strongly protested Pakistan government's announcement of a package in the form of so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and self Governance Order-2009' in August last year and holding of 'elections' for the 'legislative assembly' of Gilgit-Baltistan in November last year."
New Delhi characterised "both these developments as nothing but cosmetic exercises intended to “camouflage the fact of Pakistan's occupation of areas of the State of Jammu and Kashmir."
On commerce and trade, the ministry said India’s bilateral trade with Pakistan at $1.78 billion in the year 2008-2009 was 17 per cent less than that in 2007-2008 ($2.14 billion).
It noted that while India has accorded MFN (most favoured nation) status to Pakistan, the latter continues to restrict items of import from India to a positive list of 1934 items.
On South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), Pakistan has refused to extend the negotiated tariff concessions to items outside the positive list to India thereby negating the letter and spirit of the agreement, as exports are limited only to items on the positive list, the ministry report said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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