Pakistan again harps on resuming sub-continental dialogue

June 18th, 2009 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Islamabad, June 18 (IANS) The meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg finally broke the ice seven months after the Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistan’s foreign office said Thursday, adding Islamabad wanted the resumption of the sub-continental dialogue process.
“Finally the ice has been broken,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said at his weekly media briefing here.

“Pakistan is a responsible country and seriously wants to resume dialogue process with India to resolve the disputes between the two countries through negotiation,” he added.

The spokesman also sought to give a spin to the Zardari-Manmohan Singh meeting, saying it had produced two tangible outcomes: an agreement to resume the dialogue process at the foreign secretary level and the other that the the two leaders would meet again on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt next month.

This however, runs contrary to what Manmohan Singh told Indian reporters Wednesday while returning from Yekaterinburg, where he and Zardari had attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit as observers.

Manmohan Singh underlined that New Delhi will review Islamabad’s action against anti-India terror outfits before taking a decision on resuming the composite dialogue when the two leaders meet in Egypt.

New Delhi considers cross-border terrorism as the primary issue that Islamabad must address if it wants to resume dialogue to India - a position that was forcefully articulated by Manmohan Singh during his talks with Zardari.

Manmohan Singh had delivered a blunt message to Zardari at their meeting, their first after the Mumbai terror attacks that India has blamed on elements operating from Pakistan.

“I must tell you quite frankly that I have come with the limited mandate of discussing how Pakistan can deliver on its assurances that its territory would not be used for terrorists attacks on India,” Manmohan Singh had said.

India froze the composite dialogue process in the wake of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai carnage that claimed over 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners.

India has repeatedly said the dialogue can resume only after Pakistan shows tangible results in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai mayhem.

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