Grasp India's hand of friendship: PM tells Pakistan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address, said there were "hopeful signs" and an atmosphere in which negotiations between the two countries can go forward.

"I sincerely hope and believe that the new ruling classes of Pakistan would grasp the hands of our friendship and recognise that whatever are our differences, terror as an instrument of State policy, is something that no civilised society ought to use," he said.

Asserting that dialogue was the only way to resolve differences, Singh noted that Foreign Secretaries of the two countries had agreed to resume the dialogue process after a bilateral meeting in Thimphu last month.

"We are willing to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan provided Pakistan gives up its practice of allowing the use of its territory for terrorist activities against India," he said.
Singh said full development of the Indian sub-continent could not be achieved unless India and Pakistan normalise the relations between them.

"I have been working for that objective since 2005," he said.Some progress had been made which was followed by a lapse, he said in an obvious reference to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks after which India had suspended the composite dialogue process with Pakistan.
"Some progress was made, but then there was a lapse and the terrorist elements, would of course, not allow the process of normalisation to come into effect," Singh said.

The Prime Minister said he was convinced and believed that there was growing conviction in Pakistan's thinking population as well that terrorism was not an instrument which can be used by any civilised government as an instrument of State policy.

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