S.M Krishna says meaningful dialogue with Pakistan not possible till terror ends

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New Delhi, Aug 24 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna on Monday said that India has made it clear that a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan would only be possible following the fulfillment of Islamabad's commitment not to allow its territory to be used for terrorist activities against India.

Addressing at the second Conference of Heads of Indian Missions here, he said: "Pakistan must honour the pledges made in this regard. Following the Mumbai attacks of November 26, 2008, Pakistan has taken some steps under the pressure of evidence presented to them. However, we are still to see Pakistan take effective steps to end infiltration and dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism."

"We wish to address our differences with Pakistan through dialogue. On several occasions, we have conveyed to the Pakistani leadership our desire to engage in meaningful discussions and to develop our bilateral relations in a positive manner," he added.

Speaking on India's relations with all the countries in the Indian subcontinent, he said, "We share a special affinity and common destiny with our neighbours. India has strongly supported Nepal's transition to a democratic polity. We have also been providing humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka and hope that the IDPs would be rehabilitated soon. An encouraging development in our neighbourhood has been the return of Bangladesh to multiparty democratic politics."

About Afghanistan where Presidential elections were held last week, he said: "We have stood firm behind the Government of Afghanistan's efforts to stabilise the country. This is natural given our age old ties, our responsibility to a friendly country in our region and given our national security interest in a stable, independent and peaceful Afghanistan which will remain a priority."

Terming China as largest trading partner, he said that there is congruence in our views on many global issues,but there are outstanding bilateral issues that should be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

Informing that India's relationship with Japan has entered a new phase in the last few years, he said, with ASEAN, we have signed a Free Trade Agreement. It is another milestone in our Look East policy.

"We are adding significant elements of political, economic and security cooperation to our relationship. A new South-South partnership is being built in the IBSA framework with South Africa and Brazil," he added.

Speaking on India's relations with Russia and the United States, the Minister said India's relations with Russia are time tested and we are giving them a contemporary definition in areas such as nuclear energy, space and defence.

"With the United States, we are going to build on the positive momentum of the last few years. Our new dialogue architecture would reflect the increasingly global character of our bilateral dialogue. India's established capabilities in high technology and our unimpeachable record of using these technologies in a responsible and transparent manner are creating opportunities for upgrading our access to high technology from the major powers," he added.

On the Doha Round of negotiations, he said: "I would like to stress that timely and successful conclusion of the Doha Round on the basis of its development mandate is even more important today particularly in the backdrop of the global economic and financial crisis to restore confidence in the global economy and markets, as also to guard against emerging protectionist tendencies and to protect the livelihoods of the poor and marginalized, particularly in our rural sectors."

Underlining the main purpose of India's foreign policy, he said the aim is to assist in the fulfillment of these goals (development, inclusive economic growth and alleviation of poverty) by providing an enabling external environment which ensures our security, promotes trade, nurtures our key bilateral relationships, safeguards our national interest and enhances our influence in the world."

The Minister stressed that 'economic work of our Missions abroad is increasing in importance as India's engagement with the world has deepened and our global trade has grown substantially in recent years. (ANI)

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