Indo-Pak peace process suffered due to 7/11: PM | india | Hindustan Times
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Indo-Pak peace process suffered due to 7/11: PM

india Updated: Jul 18, 2006 20:04 IST
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Observing that the Indo-Pak peace process has "suffered" in the wake of the recent Mumbai and Srinagar terror incidents, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday made it clear that the time has come for India to "reflect" on its relations with Pakistan.

"We will look at whatever options that are there," Singh told reporters on board his aircraft at the end of his three-day visit to St Petersburg.

Singh was responding to a question on what would be government's next step on relations with Pakistan. Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries slated for July 20-21 were put off by India in the wake of the recent terror attacks in the two cities.

"For the time being, I think the dialogue process has suffered, I wouldn't say setback," he said.

The Prime Minister said it was "inevitable in the backdrop of this ghastly tragedy that we reflect on our relations with Pakistan".

After Singh made a strong pitch to the international community to desist from pursuing a segmented approach in tackling terrorism, the G-8 leaders had come out with a strong statement against the scourge as also those aiding, abetting and sponsoring it.

Officials accompanying the Prime Minister explained that this was a clear endorsement of India's concerns over cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

New Delhi strongly suspects ISI's hand behind the Mumbai blasts and the grenade attacks in Srinagar.

The Prime Minister indicated that he was not shutting the door for the peace process. "I have said more than once that the destiny of the people of South Asia is closely interlinked. Both our countries need peace and stability to realise our developmental ambitions".

He said "anything that gives a setback to that process is not something we should be happy about".

Asked whether he was satisfied with the assurances given by the world leaders on the issue of terrorism, Singh said "it is not a one-way process. It is a long haul".

He underpinned the importance of cooperation at several levels and strengthening of intelligence-gathering machinery.

The Mumbai blasts that left 200 killed and over 800 injured was an "onsalught" that has to be met with "full force and full determination", he asserted.

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