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Updated: November 24, 2009 16:02 IST

Pak. must abjure terrorism, come for talks: Manmohan

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, speak to the media prior their meeting at Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 23, 2009. Photo: AP
AP Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, speak to the media prior their meeting at Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 23, 2009. Photo: AP

Referring to the recent developments with China, the Prime Minister said there was "certain amount of assertiveness" by China lately, which had to be taken note of.

Voicing a desire for a new chapter in the history of the sub-continent, Prime Minister Manmohan said Pakistan must break with the past, abjure terrorism and come for talks with India in “good faith and sincerity” to resolve outstanding issues.

On the eve of summit talks with U.S. President Barack Obama, Dr. Singh with Mumbai attack in mind also slammed a “selective” approach to terrorism, tackling it in one place while ignoring it in others.

Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) -- an American non-profit and non-partisan membership organisation, Dr. Singh said India and the U.S. have “strong compulsions” to work towards an open and liberal regime for transfers of goods, services, investments and technology.

“This will stimulate recovery in the global economy, create jobs and spur growth in our own economies,” Dr. Singh said underscoring that the immediate challenge before the global community is to bring the world to full recovery from the global economic and financial crisis.

Touching upon Indo-Pak ties, Dr. Singh said the UPA government has “invested heavily” over the past few years in normalising relations with Pakistan.

The Prime Minister said India sought a South Asia of peace, friendship and prosperity where its borders will be energised by the flow of people, goods and ideas.

“For this to happen, Pakistan U.S. make a break with the past, abjure terrorism and come to the table with good faith and sincerity. It is my solemn hope that India and Pakistan can together move forward to write a new chapter in the history of the sub-continent,” he added.

“We made considerable progress on the road to a durable and permanent settlement of all outstanding issues. I have said that we are ready to pick up the threads of the dialogue, including on issues related to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

With just two days left for the first anniversary of Mumbai carnage, Dr. Singh said the trauma of that attack continued to “haunt U.S.”

“Terrorism poses an existential threat to the civilised world and must be defeated. We should not harbour any illusions that a selective approach to terrorism, tackling it in one place while ignoring it in others, will work,” he added.

Touching upon the situation in Afghanistan, the prime minister said the evolution of that country as a stable and moderate nation is “so vital” for the region and the world.

At the same time, Dr. Singh made it clear that India did not see Afghanistan as a “theatre of influence” observing that “our interest is in building a region of peace and stability.”

On governance of the political and security order, Dr. Singh pressed for a reform of the United Nations and its Security Council. India has staked a claim for a permanent seat in the Security Council.

Referring to Obama committing the U.S. to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, Dr. Singh said India’s security will be enhanced, not diminished, by the complete elimination of nuclear weapons the world over.

With just a fortnight left for the start of the crucial U.N. Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Dr. Singh said the pre-summit negotiations are proving more difficult than India would have liked.

“It is important for all countries to make every effort to contribute to a successful outcome at Copenhagen,” Dr. Singh said, noting how there was disagreement among industrialised countries and between industrialised and developing countries.

On India’s part, Dr. Singh said it was determined to be part of the solution to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

“We are willing to work towards any solution that does not compromise the right of developing countries to develop and lift their population out of poverty,” he added.

On bilateral issues, Dr. Singh said maritime security, including countering piracy and protecting sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean and beyond, was an area where India and the U.S. should expand cooperation.

Appreciating the cooperation that India has received from the U.S. in the area of counter-terrorism in the recent past, Dr. Singh said the two countries could do much more together on a sustained basis to combat increasingly sophisticated terror networks, transnational criminal groups and cyber terrorism.

“There is certain amount of assertiveness by China”

Referring to the recent developments with China, the Prime Minister said there was “certain amount of assertiveness” by China lately, which had to be taken note of.

“There is certain amount of assertiveness on the part of Chinese. I don’t fully understand the reasons for it. That has to be taken note of,” Dr. Singh said during an interaction at the U.S. Council for Foreign Relations here.

He did not elaborate but the statement assumes significance considering that China has recently been issuing visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir on stapled sheets of paper rather than passport, to send out a message that the state was not a part of India.

Besides, China has objected to the Prime Minister’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, is participating in projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir despite India’s objections and mentioned Indo-Pak relations in Joint Statement with the U.S.

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