India on Monday refused to go public with its position on a proposal for Islamabad’s suspension from the Commonwealth, insisting that New Delhi favoured a “stable and peaceful”Pakistan and a peaceful periphery in its own interest.
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) — that has nine commonwealth countries as its members — had laid down five-point criteria for Pakistan to meet before action against it can be decided this week. “Till it (CMAG) comes to a conclusion (on the action), it will be premature for me to say anything,”Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters to a question on whether India would support suspension of Pakistan from the 53-nation international grouping that meets this week in Kampala, Uganda.
India wants a peaceful transition in Pakistan towards stability and would work with those who work towards this. “We want to have friendly neighbours, who we can work with. We would like to see transition to that situation and we will work with anybody who can (work) in order to achieve that transition,”he said.
Menon distanced from a suggestion that Pakistan was creating instability in the region. “We know Pakistani territory is used by groups which engage in all sorts of activities — terrorism, drug trafficking… There are groups in Pakistan which export various forms of instability... It is different than saying Pakistan is doing it.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave for Kampala on Thursday, soon after his return from Singapore to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet where India has fielded its envoy in London, Kamlesh Sharma, for the post of Commonwealth secretary general.