India’s dialogue is with Pakistan’s civilian government: Foreign Secretary

August 8th, 2010 - 12:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) India will continue to have a dialogue with Pakistan’s civilian government and does not plan to establish any direct contact with its military, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said.
In an interview broadcast on CNN-IBN’s “Devil Advocate”, Rao was asked by host Karan Thapar if there was a need for India to try and establish a direct line of contact with Pakistan Army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

“My answer to that is that we have dealt and we continue to deal with and we will continue to deal with the civilian democratic government in Pakistan, the elected representatives of the people there, and the civilian officials concerned. That is the interface that we have adopted,” she said.

Asked specifically if a line of contact can be opened to the military alongside with that of the Pakistani government, Rao replied: “I am not prepared to talk about that at the moment. But let me say that the interface as it exists is with the civilian government.”

The foreign secretary advocated the continuance of dialogue despite the revelation of American website Wikileaks on the involvement of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in anti-India attacks in Afghanistan.

“I think the justification for dialogue is by no means diminished despite these revelations. I believe that dialogue is the most effective means to tackle outstanding issues with Pakistan, and the abandonment of dialogue or the interruption of dialogue, by no means serves the interests that we seek to pursue in getting Pakistan to stop its pursuit of terrorism against India,” Rao said.

When pointed out that ISI’s activities against Indian assets in Afghanistan was during Kayani’s tenure as head, Rao refused to be drawn in to give an assessment of the Pakistani army chief.

“It is not just that the WikiLeaks have come up with that revelation. It has been known to us for a long time. And we have said all along that the acts of premeditated violence against our nationals in Afghanistan are completely unacceptable to us,” she said.

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