No capitulation to Pakistan on terrorism, asserts Menon
Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon on Tuesday reiterated that India has not capitulated to Pakistan on terrorism, saying that the joint statement issued by the prime ministers of the two countries last week "can be faulted for bad drafting".india Updated: Jul 21, 2009 22:01 IST
Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon on Tuesday reiterated that India has not capitulated to Pakistan on terrorism, saying that the joint statement issued by the prime ministers of the two countries last week "can be faulted for bad drafting".
"The joint statement can be faulted for bad drafting but the meaning is clear that the composite dialogue is not delinked from Pakistan taking action on terrorism," he said while interacting with MPs after delivering a lecture on the "Challenges and Opportunities" of India's foreign policy.
"Action against terrorism should not stop because there is no dialogue," he said, maintaining that India-Pakistan relations were not akin to a Twenty20 cricket match where the intention is to hit every ball for a six or claim a wicket.
On Friday, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani charged the government with "capitulation" to Islamabad. He claimed the joint statement issued after the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani at Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort last week had delinked terrorism from the composite dialogue process.
Advani's claim came after Manmohan Singh told the house that the joint statement "only strengthens our commitment that meaningful practices of engagement cannot move forward unless and until Pakistan takes measures to control terrorism".
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Gilani on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Summit, Manmohan Singh said the foreign secretaries of the two countries would meet soon but further progress was predicated on Islamabad taking credible action against the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage that India has blamed on elements operating from Pakistan.
Pakistan says it has charged five men, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for staging the Nov 26-29, 2008, Mumbai attacks that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.
Islamabad has also accepted that Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the Mumbai mayhem, is a Pakistani national. Kasab, who is currently being tried in a Mumbai court, Monday dramatically confessed to his role in the carnage and asked for the speedy completion of his trial.
Answering a question on China's claims over Arunachal Pradesh, Menon said: "We never had a soldier on the border with China till (the border war of) 1962. China has no basis for claims on Arunachal Pradesh."