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India says no demilitarisation unless Pak stops terrorism
Ajay Kaul in Dhaka | November 12, 2005 21:49 IST
Last Updated: November 12, 2005 22:47 IST
India Saturday made it clear that there was no question of demilitarisation unless Pakistan stopped cross-border terrorism and attempts at infiltration.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Shaukat Aziz on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Dhaka, also asserted that in moving the peace process forward and correcting the "trust deficit" it was important that "we are not deflected by the incidents of terrorism and infiltration attempts that continue".
These have an impact on the public and the government, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told reporters after the meeting.
"There is no question of demilitarisation unless there is a stop to cross border terrorism and continued attempts to infiltration," Saran said.
Responding to questions, Saran, however, said India could be ready to "take away" its forces not only on the Line of Control, but the entire border with Pakistan if cross-border terrorism and infiltration ended and the two countries reached that level of "trust".
"We are looking for trust," the foreign secretary said.
Responding to Dr Singh's assertion, Aziz said Pakistan was opposed to any form of terrorism and would not allow its territory to be used for terrorism, Saran said adding, the Pakistani leader said his country was ready to cooperate with India in this regard.
On the issue of India's assistance to Pakistan for quake victims, Dr Singh told Aziz that India was ready to provide more aid if required. He also told Aziz that India would be represented at a conference convened by Pakistan for further quake relief.
Aziz conveyed thanks of his government and people for the way India helped and sent relief material, Saran said.
The two leaders also talked about opening of five crossing points on the LoC where the exchange could start soon as the processing of accepting application forms has begun.
To a question, Saran said India would "look positively" at any proposal for sending international relief material through the Wagah border as it also wanted the relief to reach the victims expeditiously. He said an ad hoc arrangement was already in place there.