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PM banks on Zardari for peace

Cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations will top the list of issues that PM Manmohan Singh will take up with Pak President Asif Ali Zardari in New York, reports Varghese K George.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2008 10:42 IST
Varghese K George

Cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations will top the list of issues that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take up with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari when they meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, September 24.

Officials accompanying the Prime Minister on his 10-day visit to the US and France said India’s approach towards dealing with the present political flux in Pakistan was to engage all pillars of the neighbouring country's power structure- the Army, the President or the PM.

“The Army may be powerful, but it too has limitations. The President may have limitations, but he can make a contribution in stabilising his country and the region,” a senior government official said.

India hopes dealing with New Delhi could be one way of Zardari legitmising his own newly acquired power. In a fast-changing political situation, India does not want to put all its egg in one basket as far as Pakistan is concerned. “You don’t know how things will look three months later.”

The official said the fact that Pakistan is also facing terror doesn’t dilute India’s issues with it. He cited the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul as a clear case of Pakistan’s complicity.

“In some cases it is an act of omission; in many, it is an act of commission by the Pakistan army or the ISI,” he said. Nevertheless, India will keep engaging all constituents of the Pakistani establishment.

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