There is no alternative to dialogue with Pak: Singh | delhi | Hindustan Times
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There is no alternative to dialogue with Pak: Singh

delhi Updated: Feb 27, 2010 17:38 IST

PTI
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In his first comment on the recent talks with Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said there was "no alternative" to dialogue to resolve issues which "divide us" and that India was ready to discuss all matters including Kashmir in an atmosphere free from terror.

Singh said India seeks "peaceful and normal relations" with Pakistan and "in that quest we have consistently sought to engage those in Pakistan who are ready to work with us."

In an interview to Saudi journalists ahead of his visit to Riyadh that began on Saturday, he said it was in the common interest of India and Pakistan to cooperate in fighting the menace of terrorism which hurts both.

"There is no change in our position... We should be good neighbours. There is no alternative to dialogue to resolve the issues that divide us," he said.

Singh was responding when asked whether the decision to have Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan reflected a change in India's stand that the stalled peace process can resume only if Islamabad acts against the planners of the Mumbai attack.

To a question on talks with Pakistan, he said, "today the primary issue is terrorism."

Asked how serious was the Pakistan Taliban threat to India, especially to Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said that as a neighbour, India could not remain immune to the rise of extremism and terrorism in Pakistan or on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan.