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Pak, India to jointly fight terror: PM

On Board Air India One, September 18
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that President Pervez Musharraf had assured him “Pakistan has no hand” in perpetuating recent terror acts in India and had given an “explicit commitment” to work with India “to do all that in their control to control the scourge”.

“I hope it works, but if it does not work, then also we have to deal with the consequences,” he said.

“Well, it is quite obvious to Pakistan that things cannot be business as usual if terrorism is not under control or if the government of Pakistan is seen not to be willing to work with us to control terrorism,” Dr Manmohan Singh said.

Asked about the US role in the peace process between India and Pakistan, he said there was no question about the US having any third party mediatory role to play. He said the world liked neighbours to work with one another.

“I totally deny any insinuation that whatever was done with Pakistan is at the behest of the US or any other country. It is a question of our own sovereign national interest,” he asserted.

Asked about when the next round of Foreign-Secretary level talks would take place, the Prime Minister said: “Details have to be fixed through diplomatic channels”.

He said India would rework on the India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline once the report of experts on the feasibility of the project was available.

During his meeting with Iranian President Ahmedinijad, the latter agreed that the two countries must work together to strengthen bilateral relations.

“I reiterated to the President that Iran as a member of the NPT and must have all rights for peaceful use of nuclear energy and all obligations,” he said.

On his talks with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Prime Minister said there was a discussion on how to promote cooperation in the field of energy and energy security.

Meanwhile, expressing confidence that Mr Sashi Tharoor would “give a good account” of himself in the election to the post of UN Secretary-General, he said for the first time India had dared to tell the world that it was ready to assume a role in the management of international polity.

“Tharoor is running very strong. In the last straw poll that was conducted, he came number two,” he said.

“I believe it is a difficult task. For the first time, we have jumped into the fray and dare to tell the world that we are ready to assume our role in the management of international polity. “There are difficulties but I remain hopeful that Tharoor will give a good account of himself,” he said.

He had raised Tharoor’s candidature with Heads of State, he added. — Agencies

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