Pakistan Must Make A Break With The Past, Abjure Terrorism: PM
23 November 2009
: To have a peaceful South Asia, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said on Tuesday that Pakistan must make a break with the past, abjure terrorism and come to the table with good faith and sincerity. Addressing the Council On Foreign Relations here, Dr. Singh said: 'My government has invested heavily over the past few years in normalizing relations with Pakistan. We made considerable progress on the road to a durable and permanent settlement of all outstanding issues. I have said that we are ready to pick up the threads of the dialogue, including on issues related to Jammu and Kashmir.' 'We seek a South Asia of peace, friendship and prosperity, where its borders will be energized by the flow of people, goods and ideas. 'For this to happen, Pakistan must make a break with the past, abjure terrorism and come to the table with good faith and sincerity. It is my solemn hope that India and Pakistan can together move forward to write a new chapter in the history of the sub-continent,' he said. 'We are three days away from the first anniversary of the heinous and barbaric terrorist attacks on Mumbai. The trauma of that attack continues to haunt us. Terrorism poses an existential threat to the civilized world and must be defeated. We should not harbour any illusions that a selective approach to terrorism, tackling it in one place while ignoring it in others, will work,' the Prime Minster added. Dr. Singh also said that the road to peace in Afghanistan will be long and hard. 'But, given the high stakes involved, the commitment of the international community must be sustained by firm resolve and unity of purpose.' 'India has enduring civilisational links with Afghanistan. We do not see Afghanistan as a theatre of influence. Our interest is in building a region of peace and stability. India will continue to assist Afghanistan in building its institutions and its human resources,' he said. 'It is vitally important that all major regional and international players put their weight behind the government of Afghanistan. This is the only way Afghanistan can meet the daunting challenges it faces,' Dr. Singh added.