PM stresses on dialogue with Pak | delhi | Hindustan Times
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PM stresses on dialogue with Pak

delhi Updated: Sep 07, 2010 00:06 IST
HT Correspondent

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has put greater focus on the neighbourhood policy — maintaining cooperation and competition are both components of Sino-Indian ties and bilateral dialogue is the only way forward for improving ties with Pakistan.

Reiterating his position that the world has enough space to accommodate the growth aspirations of India and China, New Delhi's biggest neighbour as well as trading partner, Singh said "both cooperation and competition are components of India China relations."

His comments come in the wake of the recent chill in India-Pakistan ties arising out of China's position on issues relating to J&K that included Beijing refusing to host Lt Gen B S Jaswal as well as Chinese activities in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Peaceful resolution to differences between India and China was key to the development of South Asia, the PM said.

"We cannot give up hope on peaceful solutions to the tensions between China and India," he said. He, however, didn't discount the chance of Pakistan being an easy route for Beijing to drag India into a low-level conflict.

On Pakistan, Singh stressed that bilateral dialogue was the way forward — irrespective of the complexion and nature of the Government that is in power in Islamabad — and find solutions to the problems existing between the neighbours.

"Engagement and dialogue are the only ways forward if we don't want to go to war," he said, hoping that the Pakistan foreign minister accepted his Indian counterpart's invitation to come for talks.

India suspended dialogue with Pakistan after the 26/11 attack, hoping it would prompt Pakistan to address issues of concern, but that was not to be.

Admitting that expressing sentiments about concerns on various issues related to Pakistan in Parliament has its own value, he said engaging Pakistan in the bilateral talks is the way forward.