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No talks with Pakistan till they stop aiding terror: PM

Last updated on: April 15, 2009 14:00 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today ruled out resumption of talks with Pakistan as long as it allows terrorists to use its territory against India and shows "sincerity" in bringing the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice.

He also rejected as "not true" Islamabad contention that India has not provided sufficient evidence to Pakistan in connection with the 26/11 attacks.

"The present situation is so long as Pakistan chooses to allow its territory to be used against India, no negotiation can take place.

"We are for engagement with Pakistan but Pakistan must prove its sincerity by bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 attacks to book," he said in an interaction with members of the Editors Guild of India.

 On US suggestion that India should involve itself in its new Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, he said "we are worried about growth of terrorist elements both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"If the international community and the US work to eliminate terror, in this we are willing to cooperate with them," Singh said.

Singh said in the last five years India tried to resolve all areas of contention with Pakistan and "at one time it appeared I was about to succeed in 2007" but President Pervez Musharraf then got into problems with the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

 Asked how close he was to success, he said he could not disclose all details but recalled that in a speech in Amritsar he had said set out the approach of the government with regard to Pakistan and that "we had nearly succeeded in Pakistan".

Replying to another question, the Prime Minister said India was interested in a stable, prosperous and democratic Pakistan and that it gained nothing from the collapse of its neighbour.

"We will like sooner or later to carry out the process of reconciliation but so long as Pakistan allows it territory to be used against India, we cannot resume the dialogue process," he said.

Asked about the dangers of Pakistan's nuclear assets falling into the hands of jehadi elements, he said "this danger is there definitely. There is a problem about in whose hands it will fall".

"If it falls in the hands of jehadi groups, the problem can go up and they can blackmail. But we have been assured that the nuclear assets are in safe hands. I would not like to say anything more this," he said.

On Pakistan's latest statement that it did not get sufficient evidence from India on involvement of Pakistani element in Mumbai attacks, Singh said that they had got enough material from "us, FBI and British government.

"So for the Pakistan government to say that they have not got enough material is not true", he said.

The Prime Minister also talked about India's attempts to improve relations with neighbours. He particularly mentioned about Nepal where he said that India played an important role in transition from monarchy and ushering in of democracy in that country.

"If history is to written on this development, it will record our role. During the last leg of agitation, I had to send a Special Envoy to tell the monarch to see the writing on the wall. That changed the direction of the developments there," he said.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister that India's relations with all major countries had improved. It has a strategic relations with US, Russia, China, Germany, EU and overall it had worked to create a greater international climate to give the country an elbow room.

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