Manmohan Singh asks Pakistan to shun terrorism to talk peace

Washington, Nov 24 ( Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered to resume the peace dialogue with Pakistan, including on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, provided it abjures terrorism and comes to the table with good faith and sincerity.

“My government has invested heavily over the past few years in normalising relations with Pakistan,” he said Monday in an address to the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR), a leading US think-tank.

Recalling that the two countries had “made considerable progress on the road to a durable and permanent settlement of all outstanding issues” before the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks stalled the peace dialogue, Manmohan Singh made a conditional offer to resume the talks.

“I have said that we are ready to pick up the threads of the dialogue, including on issues related to Jammu & Kashmir,” he said noting “We seek a South Asia of peace, friendship and prosperity, where its borders will be energized by the flow of people, goods and ideas.”

“For this to happen, Pakistan must make a break with the past, abjure terrorism and come to the table with good faith and sincerity,” the Prime Minister said expressing his “solemn hope that India and Pakistan can together move forward to write a new chapter in the history of the sub-continent.”

Noting that the first anniversary of the heinous and barbaric terrorist attacks on Mumbai was three days away, he said: “The trauma of that attack continues to haunt us. Terrorism poses an existential threat to the civilized world and must be defeated.”

“We should not harbour any illusions that a selective approach to terrorism, tackling it in one place while ignoring it in others, will work,” he said.