October 2006 News

Zero tolerance for terrorism: LoC is there to stay, says Singh

13 October 2006
The Daily Times

Helsinki: India is ready to discuss privately all issues with Pakistan, including Jammu and Kashmir, but will never enter into talks on altering the disputed states borders, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said in an interview with a Finnish magazine. Talking to Kuvalehti magazine, Dr Singh touched on President General Pervez Musharrafs proposal that the Kashmir issue be resolved through a special autonomy mechanism, by saying: I would not like to discuss this issue in public with Musharraf. We are prepared to discuss all issues pertaining to relations between India and Pakistan, including the Jammu and Kashmir issue. I have said on many occasions that we cannot discuss moving borders. We have to create a situation in which it is irrelevant on which side of the border the inhabitants of the area live, because goods as well as people can move freely. That is the job of the two governments, and it is the only alternative. The prime minister also said in the interview, which had been conducted in New Delhi prior to his trips to Britain and Finland, that he was satisfied with his meeting with Gen Musharraf in Havana. We agreed on common procedures to uproot terrorism. I hope Pakistan will seriously work with us on this issue. The current constructive dialogue is based on Musharrafs commitment made in January 2004. Indo-EU summit: Meanwhile, India and the European Union on Friday pledged to boost anti-terrorism cooperation, with particular focus on improving intelligence flows, with the Indian prime minister stressing that only zero tolerance for terrorism would send the right signal to those countries engaged in promoting terrorism. Addressing the opening meeting of the seventh Indo-EU summit in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, Dr Singh said that strengthening international anti-terrorism cooperation was of vital importance to all free and democratic societies. An international norm of zero tolerance against terrorism will send the right signal to those countries directly engaged in terrorism or which are allowing their territories to be used for terrorist purposes. The recent bombings in Mumbai as well as the earlier bombings in London, Madrid and Srinagar remind us that terrorism remains the most serious threat. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the summit, Dr Singh and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said that India and the 25-nation bloc had agreed to exchange information and intelligence to boost counter-terrorism efforts. Dr Singh said that this would add to wider international cooperation. On Pakistans efforts to combat terrorism, Solana stressed that all countries, not just Pakistan, needed to work harder. Besides India, the five other countries that enjoy a strategic partnership with the EU are the United Sates, Canada, Russia, China and Japan. agencies


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