Manmohan to Pak: 'If there is no attempt to contain terror, then we can't talk'

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Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said on Thursday that if Pakistan made no attempt to contain the flow of terrorism from its soil, New Delhi could not have a dialogue with Islamabad.

Addressing a press conference here after a nearly three-hour long- meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit here, Dr. Singh said: "We can't start a dialogue until all terror is stopped (from Pakistan). We can't start a dialogue unless the 26/11 suspects are brought to book. India is willing to go more than half way if Pakistan creates the (right) condition for a meaningful dialogue."

Insisting that Pakistan must stop terror emanating from its soil and rejecting Gilani's claim of a diplomatic victory, Dr. Singh said that Gilani has "assured us that incidents like the Mumbai terror attack will never happen again and action against terrorists will be taken."

He also confirmed that Prime Minister Gilani had assured him of some kind of action being taken against Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the main mastermind of 26/11.

"India wants a cordial relationship with Pakistan. I have told him (Gilani) that unless sustained and credible steps are taken by Pakistan to stop terrorism on its soil and the 26/11 suspects are not brought to book, dialogue cannot take place."

"Dialogue (between countries) cannot be avoided, but as far as having a composite dialogue, we need to think and assess whether suitable conditions exist for such a step," he said.

Dr. Singh also said that the foreign secretaries have been directed to work out the framework of the dialogue that is to take place between the two countries.

"We have agreed to have foreign secretary-level talks so far," he said.

Earlier in the day, both leaders agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries. They resolved to fight terrorism and to cooperate with each other to this end.

According to the joint communique, Prime Minister Singh reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice, while Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan would do everything in its power in this regard.

Gilani said that Pakistan has provided an updated status dossier on the investigations of the Mumbai attacks and had sought additional information/evidence.

Prime Minister Singh said that the dossier is being reviewed.

Both leaders agreed that the two countries would share real time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats.

Both Prime Ministers recognized that dialogue is the only way forward.

It was also agreed that action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and these should not be bracketed.

Prime Minister Singh said that India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues.

Prime Minister Singh reiterated India's interest in a stable, democratic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Both leaders agreed that the real challenge is development and the elimination of poverty and resolved to eliminate those factors, which prevent the two countries from realizing their full potential.

Both leaders reaffirmed their intention to promote regional cooperation.

According to the joint communique, it was a a cordial and constructive meeting that considered the entire gamut of bilateral relations with a view to charting the way forward in India - Pakistan relations. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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