Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said India sought a peaceful and normal relationship with Pakistan, saying there was no alternative to dialogue to resolve the issues that divided the two countries.

“We should be good neighbours. In that quest we have consistently sought to engage those in Pakistan who are ready to work with us. There is no alternative to dialogue to resolve the issues that divide us. Today the primary issue is terrorism,” Dr. Singh said in an interview to Saudi journalists ahead of his visit to Riyadh.

In so far as India’s dialogue with Pakistan was concerned, “we are ready to discuss all issues with them in an atmosphere free from terrorism.”

On the Pakistan Taliban threat to India, Dr. Singh said: “We cannot remain immune to the rise of extremism and terrorism in Pakistan, or on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Extremism and terrorism are major threats not only to India, but also to Pakistan, and all its other neighbours.

“It is in our collective interest that we resolutely oppose, resist and overcome terrorism and all those who nurture, sustain and give sanctuary to terrorists and extremist elements.”

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