Dialogue only in violence-free atmosphere, India tells Pakistan
Ahead of the meeting between Indian and Pakistani leaders during a nonaligned summit in Egypt next week, India today made it clear that the dialogue is "premised on an atmosphere free of the threat of violence" and asked Islamabad to "take all steps that are necessary" to address the issue of cross-border terrorism.india Updated: Jul 09, 2009 21:22 IST
Ahead of the meeting between Indian and Pakistani leaders during a nonaligned summit in Egypt next week, India on Thursday made it clear that the dialogue is "premised on an atmosphere free of the threat of violence" and asked Islamabad to "take all steps that are necessary" to address the issue of cross-border terrorism.
Indicating India's willingness to engage Pakistan, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told parliament on Thursday that the relationship between India and Pakistan "can be a critical building block" in its larger vision of "a cooperative and harmonious subcontinent".
"However, dialogue addressing mutual concerns is premised on an atmosphere free of violence," he said in a pointed message to Pakistan.
Krishna's remarks come a day after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari - in the first such acknowledgement by any Pakistani leader - admitted that Islamabad had created and nurtured militant groups for short-term "tactical objectives".
"Despite achievements, the dialogue and relationship with Pakistan have come under stress recurrently because of the license which terrorists have had in Pakistan to carry out attacks against India," he stressed.
Accusing Pakistan of reneging on its 2004 anti-terror pledge, Krishna said "despite these assurances, we have been repeatedly and severely hit by a series of terror attacks from Pakistan".
"It is the responsibility of the government of Pakistan to take all such steps as are necessary to address this issue and expose and take action against the conspiracies and conspirators responsible for such attacks," Krishna said.
"Unfortunately, terrorists in Pakistan continue attacks against India," he added.
Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon meets his Pakistani counterpart Salman Basheer in Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh July 14 for a review of Islamabad's action against anti-India terrorism directed from its soil.
The foreign secretaries' review will set the tone and tenor for the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in the Red Sea resort and hold the key to any resumption of dialogue in the future.
"After the foreign secretaries report, we will be able to take stock of the situation," Krishna said.
"The meeting will discuss what Pakistan is doing and can do to prevent terrorism from Pakistan against India and to bring to justice those responsible for these attacks, including the horrendous crime of the attacks in Mumbai," he said.
The composite dialogue between India and Pakistan stalled after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks allegedly carried out by 10 Pakistani nationals with the support of their sponsors across the border.