Pakistan Urges Resumption Of Talks, Rakes Up Kashmir

2 September 2009
Times of India

New Delhi: With India not inclined to resume the sub-continental composite dialogue in the near future, Pakistan on Wednesday highlighted the 'resolute action' taken by Islamabad to eliminate terrorism and made a fresh pitch for restarting the talks New Delhi froze after the 26-11 Mumbai attacks. Islamabad also sought to revive the Kashmir issue that found no explicit mention in the Sharm el-Sheikh joint statement that came out of the July 16 meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani. The resumption of the sub-continental dialogue would provide a good opportunity to address various issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik said while addressing senior defence and civilian officers at the National Defence College here. This, he added, was the essence of lasting and durable peace in South Asia. Malik averred that Pakistan was 'taking resolute action to eliminate terrorism and militancy' and highlighted some of the steps taken by his country in the aftermath of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai attacks that claimed over 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners. 'It (terrorism) is a regional issue requiring a regional solution,' he maintained. Alluding to the Sharm el-Sheikh joint statement, the Pakistani envoy said both sides had acknowledged that 'dialogue is the only way forward to discuss all the outstanding issues.' India is, however, not convinced by Pakistan's claims of action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has made it clear many a time that a meaningful dialogue will not be possible without concrete action by Islamabad against the Mumbai attackers and the larger anti-India terror infrastructure. In a message underscoring its increasing exasperation at the lack of credible anti-terror action by Pakistan, New Delhi has put on hold a planned meeting between the Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries before the foreign ministers of the two countries meet in New York later this month. Pakistan has invited Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to Islamabad, but New Delhi has not responded. The prime ministers of the two countries had agreed in Sharm el-Sheikh that the foreign secretaries would meet as frequently as possible before External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna meets his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in the last week of September.