Pak must abjure terrorism, come for talks: Manmohan Singh

Pak must abjure terrorism, come for talks: Manmohan Singh

Pak must abjure terrorism, come for talks: Manmohan Singh

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, speak to the media prior their meeting at her office on Capitol Hill in Washington on Monday. AP

On the eve of summit talks with US President Barack Obama, Singh with Mumbai attack in mind also slammed a "selective" approach to terrorism, tackling it in one place while ignoring it in others.

Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) -- an American non-profit and non-partisan membership organisation, Singh said, India and the US have "strong compulsions" to work towards an open and liberal regime for transfers of goods, services, investments and technology.

"This will stimulate recovery in the global economy, create jobs and spur growth in our own economies," Singh said underscoring that the immediate challenge before the global community is to bring the world to full recovery from the global economic and financial crisis.

Touching upon Indo-Pak ties, Singh said the UPA government has "invested heavily" over the past few years in normalising relations with Pakistan.

The prime minister said India sought a South Asia of peace, friendship and prosperity where its borders will be energised by the flow of people, goods and ideas.

"For this to happen, Pakistan must make a break with the past, abjure terrorism and come to the table with good faith and sincerity. It is my solemn hope that India and Pakistan can together move forward to write a new chapter in the history of the sub-continent," he added.

"We made considerable progress on the road to a durable and permanent settlement of all outstanding issues. I have said that we are ready to pick up the threads of the dialogue, including on issues related to Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

With just two days left for the first anniversary of Mumbai carnage, Singh said the trauma of that attack continued to "haunt us."

"Terrorism poses an existential threat to the civilised world and must be defeated. We should not harbour any illusions that a selective approach to terrorism, tackling it in one place while ignoring it in others, will work," he added.

Touching upon the situation in Afghanistan, the prime minister said the evolution of that country as a stable and moderate nation is "so vital" for the region and the world.
At the same time, Singh made it clear that India did not see Afghanistan as a "theatre of influence" observing that "our interest is in building a region of peace and stability."

On governance of the political and security order, Singh pressed for a reform of the United Nations and its Security Council. India has staked a claim for a permanent seat in the Security Council.

Referring to Obama committing the US to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, Singh said India's security will be enhanced, not diminished, by the complete elimination of nuclear weapons the world over.

With just a fortnight left for the start of the crucial UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Singh said the pre-summit negotiations are proving more difficult than India would have liked.

"It is important for all countries to make every effort to contribute to a successful outcome at Copenhagen," Singh said, noting how there was disagreement among industrialised countries and between industrialised and developing countries.
On India's part, Singh said it was determined to be part of the solution to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

"We are willing to work towards any solution that does not compromise the right of developing countries to develop and lift their population out of poverty," he added.
On bilateral issues, Singh said maritime security, including countering piracy and protecting sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean and beyond, was an area where India and the US should expand cooperation.

Appreciating the cooperation that India has received from the US in the area of counter-terrorism in the recent past, Singh said the two countries could do much more together on a sustained basis to combat increasingly sophisticated terror networks, transnational criminal groups and cyber terrorism.