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India rejects Pakistan's suggestion on resumption of dialogue
T V Sriram in Colombo | February 26, 2009 23:39 IST
In the first high-level contact with Pakistan since the Mumbai [Images] attacks, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon met his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in Colombo on Thursday and rejected his suggestion for resumption of Composite
Dialogue till Islamabad [Images] took credible steps to end terrorism.
Menon, who met Bashir on the sidelines of a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation conference, underlined that India and Pakistan had entered entirely a "new phase of relations" as Mumbai attacks has changed the situation.
Bashir stressed the need for resuming the composite dialogue but Menon made it known that it could happen only after India's sees credible action by Pakistan to dismantle terror infrastructure.
"We have paused the composite dialogue and official talks have been paused," Menon told media-persons after the meeting. "As far as resumption of composite dialogue is concerned, we have to see whether there is a real movement forward on (ending) terrorism. Our goal is to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai attack to justice," he said.
Noting that India wants to see perpetrators of Mumbai attack to be brought to justice, he referred to the queries sent by Pakistan in response to India's dossier and said initial steps were "positive".After 30 days, the suspects will be remanded to judicial custody, the sources quoted Pakistani officials as saying.
Pakistan is also looking forward to the resumption of the dialogue and peace process with India and hopes this will happen "sooner rather than later", Basit said.
The bilateral composite dialogue process, which began in 2004, was put on hold by New Delhi [Images] in the wake of the
Mumbai incident. t is believed that India will soon reply to Pakistan's 30 questions, including requests for the intercepted phone conversations between the Mumbai attackers and their Pakistani handlers and reports on the forensic analysis of the cellular and satellite phones used by the terrorists.
The questions were handed over to New Delhi on February 12 along with Pakistan's response to the Indian dossier on the attacks.
The Indian Foreign Secretary said Pakistan's response to our January 5 dossier on Mumbai attacks was a positive step.
"Pakistan shared some of the results of these investigation and asked us some questions. Home Minister P
Chidambaran said we will come with a response to the demand once the chargesheet is filed," he said.
Menon said India will do whatever it can to encourage Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks "whoever