Foreign Secretary talks are ‘encouraging step’ to restore dialogue: Krishna

Government on Friday said the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan represented an “encouraging step” towards restoring dialogue and better communication but made it clear that the engagement would depend on response to India’s core concern on terrorism.

Making a suo motu statement in both Houses of Parliament a day after the talks, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said the Indian side had told Pakistan that “trust and confidence” must be restored if “we are to build upon the past discussions held between the two countries at an appropriate time.”

Quoting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he emphasised that India could “not wish away the fact that Pakistan is our neighbour” and that the government was convinced that door for dialogue with it “must not” be shut.

“The talks between India and Pakistan .. represent an encouraging step towards restoring dialogue and better communication between the two countries,” Krishna said while informing Parliament about Thursday’s meeting between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir here.

Underlining that “communication and engagement represent the best way forward”, he insisted that by talking, India was not diluting its position or resolve to defeat terrorism.

At the same time, he said, “India’s engagement with Pakistan will be predicated, as it has been since the Mumbai attack, on the response of Pakistan to our core concerns on terrorism.”

On Pakistan’s view that the Composite Dialogue between the two nations should be restored, “we responded that the resumption of such a process would have to await the restoration of greater trust and confidence”, Mr. Krishna said.

He noted that the “sincere and genuine efforts” made in the past years by India for building trust and confidence had been “repeatedly thwarted by acts of terrorism“.

Mr. Krishna said the two sides held a “frank, constructive and useful” meeting yesterday and the Indian delegation stated “clearly and in a forthright manner India’s continuing concerns on terrorism.”

India noted the steps taken so far by Pakistan regarding Mumbai attack but said “these steps did not go far enough to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book in an expeditious and transparent manner, nor are these steps enough to unveil the full conspiracy behind the attack,” the minister said.

Ms. Rao conveyed to her Pakistani counterpart the need for Pakistan to take effective action to ban anti-India activities or organisations such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which has been proscribed by the Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, established under the UNSC Resolution 1267, and their leaders who have “openly and blatantly espoused an agenda of violence and terrorism against India“.

The Indian side asked Pakistan to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism which continues to exist in the territory under its control and used against India, he said.

Ms. Rao also asked Pakistan to investigate the “claims made in the territory under Pakistan’s control owning the responsibility for the recent Pune blast.” The claim was made by an unknown outfit called Laskhar-e-Taiba Al Alami.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:01:21 PM |

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