M A I N   N E W S

PM offers talks to Kashmiri groups
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

Manmohan Singh"If there are any violations of human rights, we will take effective action...

We are willing to engage in a dialogue with whoever shuns gun culture...

We wish Pak well in dealing with Qaida, Taliban…I wish it shows same sincerity in dealing with anti-India groups
— Manmohan Singh

Singh, Zardari meeting encouraging: US

Washington: The US administration has welcomed a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari this week, describing it as "encouraging". — TNS

On Board Air India One, June 17
Seeking to reach out to all sections of the Kashmiris right in the beginning of his second innings as the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh today expressed the Centre’s readiness to enter into a dialogue with all groups, including those outside the political mainstream, to bring peace and stability to Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are willing to engage in a dialogue with whoever shuns the gun culture and violence,” he told reporters who accompanied him on his trip to Russia. Describing as “very unfortunate” the recent alleged rape of two women in South Kashmir, the Prime Minister noted that Home Minister P Chidambaram had visited the state last week and made some important announcements. “If there are any violations of human rights, we will take effective action.”

Manmohan Singh said he had also told Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that once the new government had settled down at the Centre, it would look into the problems of the state and work out programmes for its speedy development. “We will be happy to engage in dialogue with any group which is interested in talking and willing to engage with us, even those groups which are not in the political mainstream.”

Singh recalled that he had invited the Hurriyat Conference in the past as well when he was told that its leadership would come with some proposals on Kashmir. “They (Hurriyat Conference leaders) never came…I am not complaining.’’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it clear to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari that any possibility of formally resuming the Indo-Pak dialogue depended entirely on Pakistan showing sincerity and determination in tackling terrorist groups operating against India from its territory.

Giving details of his meeting yesterday with Zardari at Yekaterinburg in Russia, he said his blunt message to the Pakistani leader was that his country was not displaying the same vigour in fighting anti-India forces as it was showing in tackling the Al-Qaida and the Taliban.

“We wish Pakistan well in dealing with Al-Qaida and Taliban…I would like Pakistan to show same sincerity in dealing with terrorists who operate against us from their side,” he underlined at a business-like 40-minute meeting with Zardari the focus of which was on terrorism.

Manmohan Singh said Zardari explained to him the problems Pakistan was facing and wanted ‘more time’ to deal with the ‘jehadi’ groups operating against India.



Manmohan’s remark unacceptable, says Pak

Islamabad, June 17
Apparently irked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's blunt message to President Asif Ali Zardari in front of media that Pakistan should not allow its soil for terrorism against India, Islamabad today said his remarks were "unacceptable".

In a statement made in the Senate or Upper House of Parliament, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan said Singh's comments made during his meeting with Zardari in Russia yesterday were unacceptable to Islamabad.

During yesterday's meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Russia, Singh told Zardari: "I am extremely happy to meet you but my mandate is limited to telling you that the territory of Pakistan must not be allowed to be used for terrorism against India." Khan said Pakistan had asked the Indian government not to resort to "aggressive media statements" and clear the air by talking directly with Pakistan instead of using the media.

Pakistan will never allow any force to use its soil for terrorist activities directed against any country, he said. — PTI



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