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Talks with Pak if it stops terror: Krishna

The attack in Mumbai was a point where we had to discontinue the composite dialogue, Krishna said.



New Delhi: India is willing to hold sustained dialogue with Pakistan if Islamabad gives an assurance that its soil will not be used to direct terrorist attacks and foment anti-India feelings, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Thursday.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Krishna said there was uninterrupted dialogue from 2004 till the Mumbai terrorist attack. "The attack in Mumbai was a point where we had to discontinue the composite dialogue," he said.

"India will be willing to hold sustained dialogue with Pakistan" if the Islamic nation was to guarantee that its "soil is not going to be directed for terrorist attacks (against India) and foment anti-India feelings," he said.

"The biggest confidence building measure that Pakistan can do is to prevent any future terrorist attack (on India) and prevent speeches made by Jihadi forces," Krishna said.
"We would like to have friendly, cordial and cooperative relations with Pakistan," he said.

The prime ministers of the two countries had in Thimpu identified trust deficit as the impeding factor which needed to be bridged.

Meeting of foreign secretaries and foreign ministers of the two countries was decided as one of the steps to lessen trust deficit.

"Our effort has been to fulfil that mandate given to us by the prime minister," he said.

Krishna said India considers Hafiz Saeed, leader of Jamaat-ud-Daawa - a Pakistani organisation having links with Lashkar-e-Toiba, as the mastermind of the Mumbai attack.

"Unfortunately, Pakistan becomes subjective whenever we bring Hafiz Saeed and others in discussion," he said. "We certainly would like Pakistan to be helpful and cooperative
with India so we can live in peace with each other."

"The fulfilment, in letter and spirit, of the solemn commitment given by the leaders of Pakistan, at the highest level, of not allowing territory under Pakistan`s control to
be used for any terrorist activity directed against India, would be the biggest confidence building measure," he said.

Krishna said he had in his talks with foreign minister of Pakistan on July 15 stated that any further terrorist attack on India emanating from Pakistani soil would cause immense
harm to the normalisation process.

He called for "credible and firm action against terrorist groups and their leaders, like the JuD and Hafiz Saeed, who continue to incite violence against India."

Krishna said he conveyed India`s willingness to have further interaction on pressing humanitarian issues "as part of a step-by-step, graduated and forward looking approach to
expanding dialogue to cover all issues of mutual interest and concern."

There are 582 Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails and likewise there are 412 Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails, he said adding New Delhi wants to hold dialogue on early release and repatriation of prisoners and fishermen in jails in both countries, promotion of trade and commerce and greater people-to-people contact.

During the July 15 dialogue in Islamabad, the foreign minister of Pakistan assured that his country will do everything in its power to fulfil the commitment of not allowing its territory to be used for terrorism against India.

Besides, he gave an assurance that the investigation in the Mumbai terrorist attack case, taking into account the additional information obtained from the recent interrogation
of David Headley, would be pursued vigorously to unravel the full conspiracy and bring all the perpetrators to justice, he said.

"The detailed and frank discussions held during the visit enabled both the countries to develop a better understanding of each others` position and points of view on various
issues," he said.

"Despite differences of opinion on the way forward on a few issues, there was a broad understanding on a number of other issues," he added.

Indo-Pak talks didn`t fail: Rao

India does not regard as a
"failure" the July 15 Indo-Pak talks in Islamabad as the
parleys helped in understanding each other`s point of view on
matters of mutual interests and concerns and there was "large
understanding" on many issues.

"I would, by no means describe the visit of the External
Affairs Minister to Islamabad in July as failure. Because it
was not a failure. Our relations with Pakistan are complex,"
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said.

Rao said the visit helped to promote understanding of
each other`s point of view on issues of mutual interests and
concerns.

"There were differences on few issues and I don`t deny
that ... differences cannot bridged in one meeting alone but
there was large understanding on many other issues," she said
in an interview to All India Radio.

The July 15 meeting between the Foreign Ministers of
India and Pakistan ended in sharp differences which was also
reflected in the joint press meet after the parleys.

She said Pakistan Foreign Minister S M Qureshi has
accepted the invitation of Krishna to visit India and mutually
accepted dates will be decided through diplomatic channels.

Noting the "slow" pace of the trial of 26/11 suspects,
Rao said it was India`s "expectations, hope and desire" that
Pakistan bring the perpetrators of the terror attacks to
justice expeditiously.

PTI

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