Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ruled out resumption of formal
peace talks with Pakistan until Islamabad clamps down on terrorist
groups. His clarification
came in the wake of opposition protests to a joint statement by India
and Pakistan which said dialogue is the only way forward for the two
A day after a joint statement by India and
Pakistan said that action on combating terrorism should not be linked
to broader peace talks, Indian Prime Minister told parliament Friday
that New Delhi is not resuming a dialogue with Pakistan until it takes
action to end cross border terrorism.
"It has been and it
remains our consistent position that the starting point of any new full
dialogue with Pakistan will be fulfillment of their commitment in
letter and spirit not to allow their territory to be used in any manner
for terrorist activities against India," he said.
leader's clarification came after opposition members stridently
objected to the joint statement issued in Egypt on Thursday where the
Indian and Pakistani prime ministers met on the sidelines of a summit
of the non aligned movement.
The statement had said that
dialogue is the only way forward. This was interpreted in India as a
retreat by the government from its tough position that it would not
resume stalled peace talks with Islamabad until Pakistan took action
against the perpetrators of last year's terror attacks in Mumbai. New
Delhi blames an Islamist terror group based in Pakistan for the
attacks, which killed more than 160 people.
Prime Minister Singh assured parliament that India's position has not changed.
when and in what form we broaden the dialogue will depend on future
developments," he said. "For the present we have agreed that the
foreign secretaries meet as often as necessary."
Singh said that Pakistan has extended assurances that it is "doing
everything in its power to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks
to justice." He said the two countries will also increase information
and communication sharing on terror threats, and cooperate in ending
The meeting in Egypt between the Indian and
Pakistani leaders this week had raised hopes that they may return to
the negotiating table. Analysts say although the two countries may not
resume full scale dialogue for the time being, the meeting marks a
significant step forward in mending ties which were seriously strained
following the Mumbai attacks.