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India for dialogue, but Pak yet to take action
Published on 24 Aug. 2009 11:33 PM IST
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Underlining India’s pursuit of a peaceful and stable neighbourhood, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Monday asked Pakistan to take “effective steps” to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and stressed that popular aspirations are the bedrock of New Delhi’s foreign policy. Days after India gave a fresh dossier to Pakistan on the alleged involvement of Hafiz Saeed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Krishna said that despite evidence given to Islamabad about the alleged complicity of Pakistani militants in the carnage, it was yet to take effective steps to stop infiltration and terror directed against India. Krishna, while addressing Indian envoys to 112 nations who are here for a three-day conference, emphasised New Delhi’s wish to resolve differences with Islamabad through dialogue. “We have maintained that a stable Pakistan at peace with itself and the region is a desirable goal. We wish to address our differences with Pakistan through dialogue,” Krishna told the ambassadors who have gathered here to debate key foreign policy and strategic challenges facing the country. “At the same time, we made it clear that a meaningful dialogue will only be possible following the fulfilment by Pakistan of its commitment not to allow its territory to be used for terrorist activities against India,” he maintained. “Pakistan must honour the pledges made in this regard,” Krishna added. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to interact with the envoys Tuesday. The conference of is the first such exercise after the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition returned to power in May. Underlining India’s increasing exasperation with Pakistan’s failure to take effective action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage, Krishna said: “We are still to see Pakistan take effective steps to end infiltration and dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism.” Krishna, however, acknowledged that Pakistan has taken “some steps under the pressure of evidence” presented in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had Friday handed over to Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik the latest dossier on the November 26-29, 2008 Mumbai attacks that claimed over 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners. The dossier specifically included “additional information” on Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai carnage. Placing India’s foreign policy in the larger perspective, Krishna said “development, inclusive economic growth and alleviation of poverty” are the country’s “foremost strategic goals.” “We should never forget that the aspirations of India’s people are the bedrock of India’s foreign policy,” he added. Making a pitch for more vigorous economic diplomacy and more effective soft power projection, Krishna called for “timely and successful” conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations. Underlining India’s commitment to rebuilding Afghanistan, Krishna also spoke about the country’s burgeoning relations with major powers like the US, Russia and Southeast Asian countries. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan also briefed Indian diplomats on the country’s food security and security challenges. Foreign Secretary Rao asked them to “introspect on the art of diplomacy” and adapt diplomatic tools to address emerging global challenges with “future-oriented strategies”. The conference this year has a wider canvas and includes special sessions on soft power projection, climate change, economic diplomacy and WTO negotiations. A host of cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vyalar Ravi and Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor will address the envoys over the next two days.

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