Opp charge against Indo-Pak statement lacks substance: Tharoor
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 20:24
Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition's charge on the Indo-Pak joint statement lacks substance as New Delhi has stuck to its stand that Islamabad should take credible action against terrorism, Union minister Shashi Tharoor said on Tuesday.

"Pakistan has to take credible action against perpetrators of 26/11 and also some long-term action to dismantle terrorist infrastructure there," the minister of state for external affairs told reporters here.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would make a detailed statement on the issue in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. "We stand fully behind the prime minister," Tharoor said.

On the mention of Balochistan in the statement, he said there was no suggestion at all in it that India has any involvement, as being made out by some 'interpreters'.

According to him, the prime minister had already made it clear that India had nothing to hide on bilateral matters.

"During talks, the two sides will discuss all issues and we will listen to what they have to say. This does not imply that we have any involvement," he said.

Tharoor said in diplomatic terms, there was a big difference between a joint statement and a treaty. The statement was a summary of talks between two heads of state, while a treaty was a legal document. "We need to appreciate the statement in its context."

He said Pakistan should work towards creating an environment to see that terrorist attacks like 26/11 are not repeated.

Tharoor described the end-use verification agreement as a "negotiating triumph" for the UPA government.

Terming the agreement, which was worked out during the recent visit of U S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as a diplomatic achievement, he said those politicising the issue by arguing that India had opened its defence stations to the US had "scant regard" for its actual success.

"The agreement is on mutually agreed circumstances and in the best interests of the nation, as it is up to India when to receive visiting US teams."

He said it was not right to see everything through a 'US-centred prism'. India had defence deals with Russia and France, he said.

On the recurrence of attacks against Indians in Australia, Tharoor said that the Centre was viewing it seriously. "The Australian government has assured us that they would take action against the culprits."

Asked about Indian citizens languishing in Sri Lankan jails, he said India respected the judicial system of that country. "We will see what can be done for the welfare of convicts in Lankan jails and we have kept our Embassy conscious of the matter," he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 20:24

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