Tackle terror for India’s friendship, PM tells Pakistan (Lead)

June 9th, 2009 - 3:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) India will meet Pakistan “more than halfway” if Islamabad shows enough determination to prevent terrorist attacks launched from its soil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday.
“If the leaders of Pakistan have the courage, determination and statesmanship to take this road to peace, we will meet them more than half way,” Manmohan Singh told parliament.

He was replying to the parliament debate on President Pratibha Patil’s earlier address to MPs from both houses.

He said Pakistan needed to take “strong and sustained action” to prevent the use of its territory against Indian interests and to “bring to justice those who have committed such crimes in the past”.

He said such terrorists include those who masterminded the attack on Mumbai in November last year that left more than 170 people dead.

“Such action will be welcomed by the people of both countries,” he said.

He also expressed the hope that the Pakistan government would create the necessary atmosphere to improve bilateral relations.

The prime minister’s comments came as part of his first major policy address after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) returned to power last month following general elections.

Ties between New Delhi and Islamabad have soured since India blamed Pakistani terrorists for the Mumbai carnage. Pakistan initially denied any involvement but later admitted that the terrorists were Pakistanis.

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