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Destroy anti-India terrorism too, PM tells Pakistan

Pak must “show the same determination” in rooting out anti-India terrorists as it had demonstrated by its “effective action” in tackling Taliban and Al Qaeda elements, PM Manmohan Singh said today. Amit Baruah reports.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2009 00:01 IST
Amit Baruah

Pakistan must “show the same determination” in rooting out anti-India terrorists as it had demonstrated by its “effective action” in tackling Taliban and Al Qaeda elements, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.

“We wish Pakistan well in dealing with the Taliban and the Al Qaeda,” the PM stressed, but added that the action taken in northwest Pakistan had not been replicated by Islamabad against anti-India terror outfits.

The PM expected that the upcoming meeting of foreign secretaries of the two countries would reveal whether Pakistan had taken effective action, or planned effective action against the perpetrators of terror in India.

The issue of Hafiz Saeed’s release appeared to have been taken up in the meeting with Pakistani President Asif Zardari on Tuesday, but Singh preferred not to give details of the tangibles raised.

Zardari also asked the PM to “bear with Pakistan” since his country was fighting a “grim battle” against terrorists and there were difficulties in fighting on all fronts.

The Pakistani leader claimed that while he was sincere in dealing with terrorism — from whatever source it emanated and at whichever country it was directed — New Delhi must bear with Islamabad.

The PM refused to speculate on reducing troops along the India-Pakistan border. “Troop deployment is a matter of functional necessity and I would not like to speculate on it in public…”

In prepared remarks, Singh said to achieve his goal of a “cooperative subcontinent”, India must “try again to make peace with Pakistan.”

“If the leaders of Pakistan have the courage, determination and statesmanship to take the high road to peace, India will meet them more than half-way,” the PM promised.

On India’s membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Singh was clear it was for others to decide. “If they feel India will be useful as a member, we would welcome it. But I am not lobbying for it. Central Asia is our extended neighbourhood.”

Asked if there was discussion at the BRICs, or Brazil, Russia, India, China summit on replacing the dollar as an international currency, Singh said these ideas were aired, but no concrete conclusion emerged.

The PM felt that replacing the dollar with another currency or special drawing rights (SDRs) required examination by finance ministers and central banks head of the four countries.