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Pak should give committment to end cross-border terror: Saran
July 31, 2006 14:27 IST
Ahead of talks with his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan in Dhaka on Monday, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said that India wanted to take forward the peace process but Islamabad must give a committment to abandon cross-border terrorism in whatever form it occurs. Saran said that India had taken "no step to retard or adversely impact" the peace process despite the Mumbai blasts and pointed out that people-to-people contact and movement across the border was continuing as normal.
"Our message will be that India and Pakistan need to work together. We are neighbours," he told reporters in Dhaka on Sunday night ahead of the first high-level contact between the two countries since the July 11 Mumbai blasts which had led to indefinite postponement of foreign secretary-level talks.
"We are engaged in a peace process which is important to both countries and it is very important that in order to allow this process to move forward there must be a commitment to abandoning cross-border terrorism in whatever form it occurs," Saran said.
Asked whether the meeting will discuss new dates for the foreign Secretary level talks, he said "let the talks take place, I can't say anything about it now." Saran and Khan will meet on the sidelines of SAARC foreign secretary and ministerial meeting.
To a question, Saran said, "If there are problems and concerns we will sit down�" and discuss. Saran said he would discuss various aspects of bilateral relations with his Pakistani counterpart. Facing each other for the first time since the war of words broke over Mumbai blasts, Saran and Khan exchanged pleasantries when they met under the SAARC forum on Monday morning.
"We have shaken hands, we talked about each others welfare," Khan told reporters. New Delhi has made it clear that forward movement on the peace process and composite dialogue will depend on practical action taken by Islamabad.
Indian officials have said there has to be credible demonstration by Pakistan as to what it is doing to end cross-border terrorism. While Pakistan has sought evidence about terror links with that country, New Delhi said it has already provided to Islamabad evidence about past links between Pakistan and terror activities in this country and has been seeking its stoppage.
India had recently asked Pakistan to take some practical steps to show that they were against terrorism as they claim to be.