On Air India One, Oct. 30 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday, said India's vital interests would never be surrendered to Pakistan.
Interacting with media persons accompanying him a three-nation visit (to Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam) on a wide range of subjects onboard his special aircraft, Dr. Singh that while he was hopeful about resuming dialogue at the highest levels with Islamabad, he could not predict when or how soon such an interaction would take lace. He said, however, that New Delhi's policy is keep engaging with Islamabad.
"Well, I can't say how soon, but it is our policy to engage with Pakistan. It doesn't mean that we give up or surrender our vital interests. Pakistan happens to be our neighbour. Therefore, I have often said you can choose your friend, but you cannot choose your neighbours. We are obliged to engage Pakistan," Dr. Singh said.
It maybe recalled that India suspended its composite dialogue with Pakistan immediately after the 26/11 terror strike on Mumbai by suspects who had been trained by the Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan. More than 160 people died in the attacks that lasted from November 26 to November 29, 2008.
Thereafter, both India and Pakistan have engaged dossiers related to the incident and the court case, with no real result emerging. Talks have been taking place at the Foreign Ministers and the Foreign Secretaries-levels.
The Prime Ministers of the two countries - Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani -- have met on the sidelines of multilateral events, but not bilaterally since 26/11. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)