On the eve of Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf’s visit, India on Friday said there cannot be normalisation of ties with it unless the terror machine still active there was brought under control.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India has made sincere efforts to normalise its relations with Pakistan and had achieved some progress.
“People to people contacts have gone up, trade relations have shown improvement,” Mr. Singh said in the Rajya Sabha replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to President’s address.
“But there cannot be normalisation of relations between our two countries unless and until the terror machine which is still active in Pakistan is brought under control,” he said.
Mr. Singh said this has been his government’s policy for the past nine years and would continue in the coming times.
The Prime Minister’s remarks come ahead of his Pakistan counterpart’s visit to India on Saturday.
Mr. Ashraf, during a day-long visit, is scheduled to offer prayers at the famous dargah of sufi saint Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will host a lunch in his honour at Jaipur, but no “substantive talks” are expected to take place.
Mr. Ashraf’s visit comes at a time when there is a chill in bilateral ties over the ceasefire violations at the Line of Control in Kashmir.
An Indian soldier was beheaded by Pakistani troops while the mutilated body of another was found in January.