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Terrorism can be eliminated only through dialogue: Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday said the dialogue process with India should not be held hostage to the trial of Pakistani suspected linked to the Mumbai attacks as the two countries can eliminate terrorism only through active cooperation.

world Updated: Dec 31, 2010 01:26 IST

Pakistan on Thursday said the dialogue process with India should not be held hostage to the trial of Pakistani suspected linked to the Mumbai attacks as the two countries can eliminate terrorism only through active cooperation.

Making a statement on Islamabad's foreign policy imperatives for the year, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said Pakistan is committed to bringing to justice the perpetrators of the 2008 terror attacks in India's financial hub.

"The dialogue process should not be held hostage to the Mumbai attacks trial. It is only through active cooperation at all levels can we realistically expect to eliminate the menace of terrorism," Basit said during a weekly briefing at the Foreign Office.

India's "full cooperation is imperative" for the trial of suspects charged by Pakistani authorities with involvement in the Mumbai incident, he said.

"India should stop using the Mumbai attacks or terrorism in general as a propaganda ploy against Pakistan," he added.

Pakistani authorities have put on trial seven suspects, including Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for planning and facilitating the attacks.

Their trial has been marred by repeated delays and controversies.

Referring to bilateral relations between India and Pakistan during the year, Basit said Islamabad "regrets the fact that the composite dialogue that was suspended by India in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks could not be resumed".

India's "reluctance to discuss the Kashmir dispute, Siachen and peace and security issues" went against the spirit of an understanding reached between the premiers of the two countries during a meeting in the Bhutanese capital and this "continues to stymie progress", Basit contended.

Noting that Pakistan is ready for a "comprehensive, sustained and meaningful dialogue", the spokesman called on India to end alleged atrocities against the Kashmiris by security forces and revoke "draconian laws".

He said Kashmir issue cannot be brushed aside under any circumstances.

"It is for India to come to terms with this reality and work with Pakistan for a just and lasting settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions," he said.

Pakistan believes peace and development in South Asia cannot be achieved without resolving outstanding issues with India and there cannot be "viable peace" or normalisation of relations unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved, he said.