Centre capitulated to Pakistan, alleges BJP

Joint statement does not dilute New Delhis stand on talks, says PM

 Singh said that de-linking of Islamabad’s action on terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue did not mean dilution of what had been New Delhi’s stand since 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. “It only strengthens our stand,” he claimed.

The prime minister was replying to apprehensions voiced by BJP’s Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha (RS). “We would like Pakistan not to wait for resumption of Composite Dialogue, as and when it takes place, but to take action against terrorist elements regardless of the process that may lead to resumption of dialogue,” said Singh.

After the prime minister made a statement in the Upper House about his recent visits to Italy, France and Egypt, Jaitley sought a clarification alleging that the joint statement of Singh and Gilani had contradicted India’s national stand that “the starting point of any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan would be that Islamabad would not allow its territory to be used for terrorism.”

Singh had also made a statement in the Lok Sabha, which too witnessed protests and walkout by the BJP MPs. Senior BJP MP and Leader of Opposition L K Advani termed the Indo-Pak joint statement in Sharm-el-Sheikh as ‘capitulation’ by New Delhi.

“You have de-linked terrorism and the composite dialogue. Why have you then taken seven months just to do this?” Advani wondered after the prime minister made the statement in the Lower House. He was joined by the party’s Deputy Leader in the House Sushma Swaraj.

Peace process

India and Pakistan had started the peace process in February 2004, but New Delhi suspended it in the wake of the attacks in Mumbai on November 26 last year. 

Pakistan has over the past few months been insisting on resumption of the Composite Dialogue. The US has also indicated that it would like to see the nuclear neighbours in South Asia resume talks.

But New Delhi has been maintaining that parleys could be resumed only if Islamabad takes credible action to bring to justice the masterminds and perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks and dismantle all “terrorist infrastructures” in Pakistan.

Singh said that he had conveyed to Gilani during the bilateral meet on the margins of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh on Thursday the strong sentiments of the people of India over the issue of terrorism, especially the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
He said New Delhi was reviewing the dossier it received from Islamabad about the progress in the probe into 26/11 attacks.

“I also conveyed to Prime Minister Gilani that sustained, effective and credible action needs to be taken not only to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice, but also to shut down the operations of terrorist groups so as to prevent any future attacks,” he said. The prime minister said that engagement with Pakistan was “the only way forward to realise the vision of a stable and prosperous South Asia living in peace and amity”.

Singh added that Gilani had assured him of Pakistan’s resolve to do everything in its power to bring the perpetrators of the attacks in Mumbai to justice.

“He also told me that there is consensus in Pakistan against the activities of these terrorist groups, that strong action is being taken and that this is in Pakistan’s own interest,” said the prime minister.

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