Terrorizing World – "Enough is enough"

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Manmohan: no dilution of our position on terrorism

Posted by :) on July 30, 2009

Sandeep Dikshit

“Offered to discuss Balochistan as our hands are clean”

— Photo: PTI/Courtesy Lok Sabha TV

MUCH-AWAITED INTERVENTION: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarifying the government’s position on the India-Pakistan joint statement, in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday asserted that the government had not diluted its position on terrorism by issuing a joint statement with Pakistan earlier this month but left the door open for dialogue provided Pakistan fulfilled its commitment in “letter and spirit” to root out anti-India terrorist activity from its soil.

Intervening in a debate in the Lok Sabha on issues arising from his recent visits abroad, the Prime Minister underlined the need for engagement with Pakistan to achieve enduring peace in the subcontinent and slammed the “enemies of peace” for trying to make alienation between the two countries permanent and the divide unbridgeable.

Speaking to a packed House for nearly 45 minutes — his longest speech in recent memory — and backed by animated party members and allies, the Prime Minister rejected third party involvement in talks with Pakistan because of its limited effectiveness. It could also lead to longer-term involvement of foreign powers in South Asia which is “not something to our liking.”

Tracing the highs and lows of India-Pakistan ties during his much-awaited intervention, the Prime Minister said India would follow a policy of “trust and verify” on commitments by Pakistan and revealed that the impetus to the joint statement came from the dossier submitted by Islamabad a few days before he left for France and Egypt. The dossier showed some progress had been made by Pakistan but India did not think it was “adequate” for resumption of full-fledged dialogue. The joint statement also took a step forward by committing both countries to share real time, credible information to prevent any attacks in future.

At the same time, the Pakistani leadership was told to ensure that Mumbai-type attacks should not be repeated and another such attack would put an “intolerable strain on our relationship.” Dr. Singh thought the current Pakistani leadership understood the need for action against terrorists of all hues and cautioned that Pakistan would be “consumed” if it did not resolutely counter terror.

The dialogue would now be limited to Foreign Secretary-level capped in the near term by a meeting between the two Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He acknowledged the statesmanship of the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee for pursuing the course of dialogue despite several setbacks. But he pointed out that despite the National Democratic Alliance government’s “tall talk” it was unable to get Pakistan to probe the involvement of its nationals in previous terror attacks. “So the UPA government needs no lessons from the Opposition on how to conduct foreign affairs or secure our nation from terrorist attacks,” he said to the accompaniment of enthusiastic thumping of desks from the ruling alliance benches.

Responding to criticism over the incorporation of Balochistan in the joint statement, Dr. Singh said New Delhi was willing to discuss strife in the Pakistani province because it had clean hands and was willing to remove any misgivings. Far from being engaged in egging on discontent in Pakistan, Indian consulates in Afghanistan were focusing on the large-scale reconstruction work being carried out in the country. “But we were willing to discuss all these issues because we are doing nothing wrong,” he maintained.

Source : The Hindu – eNews Paper


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