India will not redraw borders in Kashmir: Manmohan Singh
Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has once again reiterated that as far he is concerned, there is no question of New Delhi redrawing the international boundary that separates Indian Kashmir and Pakistan Kashmir.world Updated: Nov 23, 2009 14:07 IST
Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has once again reiterated that as far he is concerned, there is no question of New Delhi redrawing the international boundary that separates Indian Kashmir and Pakistan Kashmir.
In an interview given to the Editor of Newsweek International, Fareed Zakaria, in CNN's Global Public Square (GPS) program here ahead of his visit to Washington, Dr Singh said: "I have publicly stated that there will be no redrawing of public borders. Our two countries can work together to ensure that peace is maintained, that trade is made
free and ensure that encouragement is given for more people-to-people contact."
He said India's stance on the so-called Kashmir issue was well known and well illustrated and there was really no need to elaborate on it further. The reality was that both Pakistan and India needed to work together to promote peace and encourage trade and people-to-people interaction in the region in the best way possible under the prevailing situation and context.
During the course of his nearly 45-minute-long interview with Zakaria, Dr Singh reflected on several key issues, including how Pakistan had not done enough to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to book; prospects for the finalization of the US-India civil nuclear cooperation deal that has been on the negotiating table for the more than four years; how he expected the Obama White House to view India; his assessment of what has caused the global financial meltdown and how India has coped with it and his view on India and China emerging as the economic power players of the Asian region.
Dr Singh used the interview to reiterate his unhappiness over Pakistan efforts in bringing the culprits of the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai to book.
"Pakistan has not done enough with regard to pursuing the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks."
Recalling his one-to-one interaction with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh in July this year, Dr Singh said that when he raised the issue with Prime Minister Gilani, the latter had promised that his government would do the needful and take every possible legal step to bring the
persons responsible for the incident to book.
Yet, he said, that almost a year after the attacks that claimed over 170 innocent lives, militants like Masood Azhar and Hafeez Saeed, and other terrorists continued to move around freely on Pakistan soil, apparently with the backing of the Pakistan Government.
What was even more lamentable was the fact that the Indian Government has provided every and enough evidence demanded by Pakistan to substantiate the charge that the attack was commandeered from Pakistani soil, though seven dossiers collated by various
investigative agencies, and each time, Islamabad has responded by saying that the evidence is not enough, faulty and unproven. Singh said.
"An active Pakistan (Government) would not allow this (free movement of terrorists)," said Singh.
He also expressed his concern and worry about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, and the possibility of it falling into wrong hands.
"We worry about these contingencies. But, we have been assured by the United States, the Americans," said Singh.
Dr. Singh that India was not worried about the United States reported concerns on use of nuclear assets.
"We are a nuclear weapon state. But, we are responsible nuclear state. We have impeccable record. We have not (added) to nuclear proliferation," said Dr. Singh
His comment assumes significance in the wake of the possibility of the talks in Washington being focused on taking the next steps for formalizing civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries, as also on the issues of energy security and climate change.
In an earlier interview to the Newsweek, Dr Singh said that he was confident about the United States honouring the US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation deal and the 123 Agreement, but added that India would seek "positive reaffirmation" of the present administration to carry forward the process.
Dr. Singh said India would like to operationalise the "watershed" agreement and ensure that the objectives for the deal were realized in full merit.
"We have no worries, but we would like a positive reaffirmation of this administration to carry forward the process," Singh said.
He also said that the partnership with the US was for sustained and sustainable development of India and the new global world order, which is in search of a new equilibrium.
On India's concerns about the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Dr Singh said: "Why should we be worried? We are not worried at all. We would like to work with President Obama to promote the cause of global nuclear disarmament, a world free of nuclear weapons."
Singh expressed hope that the US would be "more liberal" in transferring technologies to India and clear the way for implementing the landmark agreement on nuclear cooperation.
The Prime Minister also said that he has no apprehensions about the United States viewing India differently because of a change of administration in Washington.
"I have no apprehension that our relationship with the United States will change because of a change of administration."
Elaborating further, he said that credit for the relationship that existed between India and United States should go to the Indian-American community and assorted institutions, lobbies, caucuses and bodies representing India's interests in the United States in a comprehensive and positive manner.
"There is no doubt about the role that people-to-people contacts, the large Indian-American community, has played and contributed to changing the way the United States, and indeed the world views India now. Nearly every Indian family has a relative in the United States, and this is testimony to the warm relations that these two countries
enjoy," said Dr Singh.
Asked for his comments on what he saw as the key factors responsible for the global financial meltdown, Singh replied: "Lack of regulation. A monetary policy that was far too liberal; that should have been tightened well in time."
He further said India was more prudent than the other countries.
"Good supervision and natural prudence has helped us to tide over this crisis," he added.
As far as the financial the United States was concerned, Singh said: "The US always has shown a remarkable ability and consistency in bouncing back from its economic problems."
On the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, Dr. Singh said that a decade ago, the emergence of the Taliban had created a problem in the South Asian and Central Asian region, and its disappearance post 9/11 was a blessing.
Asked how he saw Afghanistan emerging as nation from years and decades of war-ravaged ruin, he said that it was for Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take responsibility in his second term to harmonize and bringing together all elements in Afghanistan with the help of a purposeful government.
He welcomed the US initiative to work for a better, improved and democratic Afghanistan, but was very skeptical about Pakistan's objections in that country.
"Pakistan's objectives in Afghanistan not necessarily in harmony with American objectives. Having said that, who am I to judge whether the Pakistan Government and the Pakistan Army is moving to remove the Afghan Taliban," said Singh.
Insofar as who was running Pakistan, Dr. Singh appeared quite emphatic when he stated that the Pakistan Army is running the country. "It is not clear if the President (Zardari) is in charge of the army,"
Commenting on India and China emerging as the economic powerhouses of Asia and the global economy in the new millennium, the Prime Minister said that India did not see China as a rival in the trade and commercial sector, and added that there was enough space in the global economy for both to cooperate and complement each other to realize the true potential of each other's economies.