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Tell Pakistan not to use terror as state policy: PM to US

Expressing concern about the rise of terrorism in Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India wants the United States to use all its influence with Islamabad to stop using terror as an instrument of state policy.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2009 21:46 IST

Expressing concern about the rise of terrorism in Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said India would like the United States to use all its influence with Islamabad to stop using terror as an instrument of state policy.

"We have been the victims of Pakistan-aided, -abetted and -inspired terrorism for nearly 25 years," he said in an interview with Newsweek-Washington Post in New Delhi ahead of his state visit to the US.

"We would like the United States to use all its influence with Pakistan to desist from that path," he said in the interview to be published on Sunday when he lands here for a summit with President Barack Obama on November 24.

"Pakistan has nothing to fear from India. It's a tragedy that Pakistan has come to the point of using terror as an instrument of state policy," Manmohan Singh reiterating India's willingness to resolve all outstanding issues with Islamabad if it does not allow its territory to be used against India.

"We are committed to resolve all the outstanding issues with Pakistan through bilateral negotiations," he said. "Our only condition is that Pakistan should not allow its territory to be used for acts of terrorism against India."

"If Pakistan really honours that commitment, we can go back to negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues between us." Manmohan Singh said referring to his talks with the then Pakistan president Gen Pervez Musharraf.

"If you look at Mumbai, the Pakistanis apparently were not honouring the agreement," he said referring to the November 26, 2008, terror attacks by Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"As far as the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre are concerned, [Pakistan] has taken some steps but not enough," he added.

Asked whether he was worried about another Mumbai, Manmohnan Singh said: "Every day I receive intelligence reports saying that terrorists based in Pakistan are planning other similar acts."

On his assessment of the situation in Pakistan, the prime minister said: "We are concerned about the rise of terrorism in Pakistan."

Noting that India had been "the victims of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism for a long time", he said, "Now if the Taliban and Al Qaeda type of terror, which in the past was located in the FATA area [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] of Pakistan, gets transferred to the mainland of Pakistan, I think it has very serious consequences for our own security.

"We would not like terrorism to lead to a situation where the civilian government is only a nominal government," Manmohan Singh said.

Asked if that's the situation now, he said: "I'm not saying that's the situation now. But obviously Al Qaeda and the terrorists have a grip over several parts of Pakistan."

Asked if the Pakistanis were trying as hard as they can, the prime minister said he was not sure whether the United States and Pakistan have the same objectives in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan would like Afghanistan to be under its control. And they would like the United States to get out soon," Manmohan Singh said while "the US objectives are to get Pakistan to deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"But I don't see Pakistan wholeheartedly in support of action against the Taliban in Afghanistan. They are of course taking action against the Taliban, but only when it threatens the supremacy of the army."