The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on Friday said the India is willing to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including Jammu and Kashmir through dialogue and purposeful negotiations.
“We wish to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries through friendly dialogue and constructive and purposeful negotiations. And this includes the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Prime Minister was on his daylong visit to Jammu for addressing Third Convocation of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology of Jammu and inaugurating the residential flats constructed for displaced Kashmiri Pandits at Jagti, about 20 kms in the outskirts of Jammu city.
Singh maintained the Centre will always keep the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in its mind. “We are willing to discuss all issues that have a bearing on the peace, dignity and well-being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
He reiterated, “This sub-continent of our will not realize its full development potential unless relations between India and Pakistan are normalized. Despite all the problems, we have decided to resume the dialogue process and we will enter these talks with an open mind.”
The Prime Minister, however, voiced concern over the activities of extremist groups in Pakistan and said, “We cannot forget what happened in Mumbai.”
He made these remarks while referring to the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
He urged the Government of Pakistan to leave no stone unturned to bring the culprits (of Mumbai terror attacks) to book.”
Singh asserted, “But I believe that there is a growing conviction in Pakistan, among the thinking segments of the population that something serious needs to be done to curb the influence of these groups on Pakistani society and polity.”
“I urge Pakistan to take strong and resolute action against these groups that is in the interest of Pakistan, the region and the world at large”, he maintained.
India and Pakistan have agreed to “resume” dialogue on all issues following Foreign Secretaries level meeting in Bhutan last month.
About the internal problems in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said, “We recognize that there are genuine political, social and emotional grievances of the people. We are trying to honestly to address these issues.”
Obliquely referring to the separatists groups’ decision of staying away from talks, Singh said, “There is no way forward but sustained dialogue and the resolution of all problems under a constitutional framework, that I believe has the flexibility to accommodate honourable and durable solutions for all.”