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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

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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