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Rediff.com  » News » Why the PM-Musharraf Summit is crucial

Why the PM-Musharraf Summit is crucial

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September 08, 2006 18:55 IST

Ahead of the meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Havana next week, India Friday made it clear that unless the issue of terrorism is addressed in a "substantive way" by Pakistan, it would be difficult to carry forward the dialogue process.

New Delhi said the dates for the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks, aborted in the wake of July 11 Mumbai blasts, could be set only if there is "satisfactory" outcome of the parleys between Singh and Musharraf and Islambad shows willingness to work with India to eliminate the "shared threat" of terrorism.

"Both leaders (Singh and Musharraf) are very conscious of the importance of the Indo-Pak relations and both leaders are committed to taking forward the dialogue and peace process.

"But at the same time there is recognition that unless the issue of terrorism is addressed (by Pakistan) in a substantive way, it will be difficult to ensure the success of the dialogue process," Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said while briefing reporters on the upcoming visit of the prime minister to Brazil and Cuba.

To a question about the resumption of stalled Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries, he said "yes, if the results of the summit meeting are satisfactory and we see there is willingness on part of Pakistan to work together with India to deal with what Pakistan itself says is a shared threat of terrorism".

He said if terrorism was a shared threat to both India and Pakistan, then the two countries "should be seen to be working together to eliminate this shared threat."

Maintaining that he would not like to pre-judge the talks between Singh and Musharraf on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Havana on September 15-16, Saran said both India and Pakistan knew what needs to be done.

Asked whether Friday's blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra would vitiate the atmosphere for the talks, he said "I don't know, it will depend on investigations".

To a question on July 11 Mumbai blasts forcing postponement of the Foreign Secretary talks slated a few days later, Saran said no dates were fixed. However, various other mechanisms like meetings of working groups and joint commissions and technical-level talks were going on as per schedule.

Asked how India looked at the scene on the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks in the US, Saran said New Delhi has been saying the challenge of terrorism was not just for this country but a global menace.

No country, however powerful, can deal with the challenge on its own and it has to be dealt with global action and tackled in its entirety, he said. "Whether you call it al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba or Al Badr, they are all part and parcel of the same network. You cannot address one part of the problem and look the other way round about others," he said.

© Copyright 2013 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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