Delinking terror from dialogue doesnt dilute Indias stand: PM

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 19 2009, 04:01am hrs
Rejecting charges of dilution in Indias position vis-a-vis Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday contended that there was no change in stance while contending that any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan cannot move forward until Islamabad took steps to end terrorism emanating from its soil.

Opposition parties launched a sharp offensive against the Manmohan Singh government, alleging it had capitulated to Pakistan at the just concluded Indo-Pak summit meet in Egypt by agreeing to a joint statment which said that action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process.

Leader of Opposition, LK Advani led a walkout of the BJP benches in the Lok Sabha this evening after accusing the government of betrayal. He said delinking of terrorism from composite dialogue has been the demand of Pakistan and that we have conceded seven months after the Mumbai attacks. What has happened that made you change the stance.. The government has capitulated, he said. The CPI(M) said there is new confusion now after action on terror was delinked from dialogue. The CPI(M) however backed the government saying resumption of talks was important.

Prime Minister Singh, though, clarified in the Rajya Sabha that Indian stand remained unchanged with Pakistan bound to take sustained, effective and credible action without waiting for the composite dialogue to begin. It does not mean dilution of our stand, it only strengthens our commitment that meaningful process of engagement cannot move forward unless and until Pakistan takes measures to control terrorism, .

Singh also underlined that engagement is the only way forward to realise the vision of a stable and prosperous South Asia and said India is willing to go more than half way provided Pakistan creates the conditions for a meaningful dialogue. He indicated that the timing, situation and process of dialogue would depend on actions taken by Islamabad. Whether, when and in what form we broaden the dialogue with Pakistan will depend on future developments.

He pointed out Gilani and he had agreed that the foreign secretaries will meet as often as necessary and report to the two foreign ministers who will meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Singh said he had discussed with Gilani the present condition of bilateral ties, the future potential and the steps that are necessary to enable the two countries to realise the potential.