India to Pakistan: No talks till credible action against terror

March 30th, 2009 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Underlining its opposition to any external role, India Monday said that it will not resume the stalled dialogue process with Pakistan unless there is “credible action” by Islamabad against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.
“There is no point in setting down time-frame or concrete markers. We want to see credible action against terrorism,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters here.

He was responding to a question on whether India has set any criteria or preconditions before resuming dialogue with Pakistan which paused after the Mumbai terror attacks in November last year.

India suspects the hand of Pakistani nationals and its agencies in the Mumbai terror attack that killed over 170 people, including 22 foreigners.

“We want to see credible action against the infrastructure of terrorism in its territory. We want to see the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks being brought to justice,” Menon said when asked to be more specific about the kind of actions India was expecting from Pakistan before it could resume the dialogue process.

“It’s not a matter of quibbling over markers. The world knows what we mean when we say credible action. We are waiting,” he added.

Rejecting any external attempt to pressure India into resuming dialogue with Pakistan, Menon pointed out that the India-Pakistan process has been “more successful” when it’s been on bilateral track.

“It takes two hands to clap. And getting hands from somewhere does not help,” Menon said when asked about US President Barack Obama’s new policy statement on the Afghanistan-Pakistan region that includes using “constructive diplomacy” to resolve tensions between India and Pakistan.

This has been interpreted by some as an attempt to pressure India in restarting dialogue process with Pakistan.

Menon’s comments are seen as a message to Washington before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holds his first meeting with the US President on the sidelines of the G20 summit in London Thursday.

The situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan will figure prominently in discussions between the two leaders.

Menon condemned Monday’s terrorist attack in Lahore and described terrorism as “a menace” to the region. He, however, warned against “jumping to conclusions” about the identity of the attackers and the motive behind the terrorist incident.

A group of terrorists stormed the police training academy in Pakistan’s Lahore city early Monday, killing at least 22 trainees and injuring dozens. Many trainees were held hostage for hours by the militants, some of whom were wearing police uniforms.

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