Dismantle terror network first: Krishna

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External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna at Parliament House on Friday.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna at Parliament House on Friday.

Sandeep Dikshit

“Saeed release only shows that Islamabad is not serious about tackling terror”

NEW DELHI: India on Friday ruled out resumption of dialogue with Pakistan until it takes ``concrete measures” to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism that was conceiving and executing violent activities against it.

“We will not talk unless they take concrete measures to prevent terror attacks emanating from the soil of Pakistan aimed against India,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told journalists when asked to comment on reports that there were attempts to resume dialogue with Pakistan.

He drew attention to the release of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed to prove that “this only shows that Pakistan is not serious about terror and all that terror spells out.” There has been talk that India might open a channel and thus pre-empt the U.S.’ urgings to resume dialogue with Pakistan when senior U.S. administration official William Burns followed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton come calling next week and next month, respectively. Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon also said that India would like to have a stable, peaceful and prosperous Pakistan as its neighbour and New Delhi would like to work towards that end. But “terrorists from Pakistani soil” against India stops it from achieving that goal.

Highly placed sources asserted that not once in the past four months had the U.S. broached the subject of a dialogue with Pakistan. India is also likely to tell its U.S. interlocutors that though Pakistan is engaged in cleaning the North West Frontier Province of militants, it has not taken action against terror groups that affect India.

In fact, their links with the Pakistani Taliban have become much stronger after its spread into southern Punjab, including Multan and Bhawalpur. Therefore, the capacity of anti-India groups to mount major attacks has remained unimpaired.

Though Pakistan has taken dramatic action against the Taliban, India feels it is too early to say whether they are winning because its army has a history of winning battles but the state is unable to hold the area. In this case too, Pakistan has failed to spell out or does not have any intent for the future. Mr. Krishna said India was ready to address the concerns of countries which that feel their citizens are unsafe in the country, but declined to say anything on the U.S. travel advisory, because Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has already said that India was a very safe country to travel. The advisory termed India a “high threat” destination from terrorism and asked its citizens to be vigilant. But Mr. Chidamabaram did not find any justification in this billing. “If there are any concerns of particular countries, we are willing to address them,” he added .

Mr. Krishna refrained from an instantaneous appraisal of U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech on Thursday in Cairo, saying: “we will have to wait and watch. He has made a broad appeal. It was a reconciliatory speech and we will have to watch the reaction from the Islamic world.”

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