Suspension of Indo-Pak talks helped non-state actors: Gilani

Gilani again called for Pakistan to be given access to nuclear technology.

Updated: Jun 07, 2010, 17:28 PM IST

Islamabad: The suspension of the India-Pakistan composite dialogue in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks allowed non-state actors to succeed in "dictating their agenda", Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday.

Reiterating Pakistan`s desire for the "negotiated and peaceful resolution" of all disputes with India, Gilani said: "By suspending composite dialogue following the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, non-state actors succeeded in dictating their agenda."

The Premier made the remarks while addressing a gathering of top army officials, including Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, at the Command and Staff College in Quetta.

He said it was Pakistan`s consistent viewpoint to "delink the peace process from terrorism".

"The Indian leaderships` willingness to resume the stalled dialogue and international support for initiation of talks represents a win of our diplomacy. Better late than never," Gilani said.

He said his government believed that "peace is the only course" that can improve the lives of the people of South Asia.

He also said it was "unfortunate that the leaderships of both India and Pakistan, who have immense stakes in the future, have been meeting on the sidelines of regional and multilateral forums instead of holding direct talks.

Gilani, who spoke on issues of vital importance to Pakistan, again called for Pakistan to be given access to nuclear technology and know-how so that it could address a crippling energy crisis by increasing the generation of atomic power.

During his meetings with the US leadership, he made it clear that "Pakistan rightfully expects the US to adopt non-discrimination in terms of (a) civil nuclear deal with Islamabad", he said.

"We believe that the objectives of nuclear non-proliferation, safety and security would be better served if the policy of non-discrimination reforms the international paradigm in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," he said.

Nuclear power generation is an essential part of Pakistan`s national energy security strategy and the country has taken effective steps for nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation through legislative, regulatory and administrative framework, he remarked.

Gilani also said his government`s policy of reconciliation and understanding had filled a vacuum that was "being exploited by inimical elements to destabilise the country".

He added: "Perhaps, it is first time that the President, Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, opposition, media (and) civil and military leadership enjoy good understanding and each one is playing its due role within its sphere."

When the current government was formed in early 2008, it had to choose between a "progressive, tolerant and welfare Islamic state" and a "theocratic, intolerant and extremist state as desired by the extremists", he said.

"We followed (Pakistan`s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah) path. We made up our mind to safeguard the identity, values and ethos of our country and nation," he added.

Political consensus was forged before the government asked the army to launch operations against militants in Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan, Gilani said.

PTI