India is prepared to “discuss all outstanding issues” with Pakistan, including Jammu and Kashmir, but Islamabad has to take “ameliorative action” to eradicate terrorism against New Delhi.
“The issue of Jammu and Kashmir comes up in our relationship with Pakistan and we have said very clearly, very confidently and very transparently that we are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here on Monday.
Asserting that India's relationship with Pakistan had been “complicated” due to terrorism, Ms. Rao said “terror groups implacably opposed to India continue to recruit, train and plot attacks from safe havens across our borders” and stressed “the need for Pakistan to take ameliorative action to eradicate terrorism against India.”
“Despite this threat, we understand well the Kautilyan advice that a great power loses stature if it remains bogged down in neighbourhood entanglements,” the Foreign Secretary said while delivering a lecture at Harvard University.
The top diplomat, who was in Washington earlier to discuss President Barack Obama's upcoming India visit in November, stressed that Kashmir was an internal matter as far as India was concerned.
“It is an internal affair because it [Kashmir] is an integral part of India.”
Amid reports of China-Pakistan plans to set up a new giant atomic power plant in Pakistan, India said it had been affected by clandestine nuclear proliferation in its neighbourhood and was concerned about the possibility of atomic terrorism in the region.
“We believe that the challenges of nuclear terrorism and nuclear security have to be addressed. We have been affected by clandestine nuclear proliferation in our neighbourhood. We are naturally concerned about the possibility of nuclear terrorism given the security situation in our neighbourhood,” she said.
Her comments came amid reports that Beijing and Islamabad were in talks to set up a new giant one gigawatt atomic power plant in Pakistan.
Ms. Rao said India and China had “vast differences” over the boundary issue, which could not be resolved in short duration with “easy fixes,” but asserted that it was not a “primary obstacle” in normalisation of bilateral ties.
She said the path of confrontation would not ease the “vast differences” India and China had on the issue.