India willing to talk Kashmir with Pak: Mathai

Last Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 18:23

Washington: India is willing to advance its
peace talks with Pakistan and discuss the Kashmir issue, but
the main stumbling block is Islamabad`s failure to clamp down
on militant groups, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai has said.

Mathai, in an interview to `The Wall Street Journal
published today, also said that Pakistan`s recent moves,
including an agreement to open its markets to Indian goods,
was a signal that it was serious about improving ties with
India.

Asserting that Pakistan needs to take serious action
against militants using its soil to attack India, he said that
it was deeply troubling to India that LeT founder Hafiz Saeed,
mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was able to address
public gatherings and appear on television in Pakistan.

"If the (Pakistani) army didn`t want Hafiz on TV issuing
threats to one and all, they`d be able to do something,"
Mathai said.

He said Pakistan`s failure to clamp down on militant
groups that have attacked India is the major roadblock to
peace talks.

Mathai said the US decision to put a USD 10 million
bounty on Saeed shows that Washington has come around to
India`s view about the high level of threat from
Pakistan-based militant groups.

"It does demonstrate that much of what concerns us is a
broader international concern," he said.

At the same time, Mathai referred to Pakistan`s recent
moves indicating its willingness to improve bilateral ties,
including those on trade.

"I wouldn`t have been as optimistic six months ago,"
he said, speaking about prospects for the latest round of
peace talks, which began a year ago.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 17:03

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