Talks with Pakistan on course | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Talks with Pakistan on course

delhi Updated: May 05, 2011 01:47 IST
Jayanth Jacob

India's talks with Pakistan will continue, despite the killing of Osama bin Laden just 60 km away from Islamabad by American special forces on Monday morning.

Indian government sources described the event as 'sensational' and believe many more terror fugitives could be hiding in Pakistan's terror sanctuaries.

Islamabad is facing international isolation after the killing.

"Talks will continue," the sources said.

"Geography is destiny for us."

They said that the killing of Bin Laden "vindicated" New Delhi's position that unless Pakistan dismantles "sanctuaries and safe havens" on its soil, the global fight on terrorism will not succeed.

India will also continue to push the international community, including the US, to get Pakistan to close down safe havens for terrorists, including the 26/11 plotters and their minders.

Government sources said Delhi engages Islamabad with "head, heart and courage", describing Pakistan as a "hard country" and no "pushover" - as the Americans learned.

Pointing to the need to "divorce" rhetoric from India-Pakistan "dialogue narrative," the sources said India has to "engage Pakistan on issues of mutual interest".

"Some would argue for bringing Pakistan to its knees. Then, what next? We cannot change our neighbours… There is need to normalise relations and the best way is to engage with them," government sources countered.

They also scoffed at Pakistan foreign secretary Salman Bashir's stating that the demand for justice for 26/11 was outdated.

"We don't think it was a serious statement," said the sources.

Several bilateral meetings are scheduled in May between the two neighbours.