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India 'only expects Pak to dismantle terrorism'

January 02, 2011 15:13 IST

In a forthright message to Pakistan, India on Sunday said its posture of "compulsive hostility" will not help a "serious and sustained" dialogue between the two countries.

Noting that the country "walked the extra mile in reaching out" to its neighbours, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said, "We earnestly hope that our neighbour would see the merit in constructive engagement and discard the posture of compulsive hostility."

During an exclusive interview to PTI, the minister said, "Our only expectation from Pakistan is to dismantle the terror infrastructure that operates from the territories under its control. A serious and sustained dialogue can thrive only in a peaceful and terror free climate."

He also said that terrorism, whether state-sponsored or not, has no place in today's world and needs to be rooted out through concerted efforts of each and everyone.

In a year-end review of the foreign policy and challenges before India in 2011, he touched upon India's relations with immediate neighbours, country's growing economic ties with ASEAN and Korea, and the support India has received for its bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

"Our candidature for permanent membership of UNSC also received greater traction and support of the international community this year," Krishna said.

Despite differences on a host of issues with China, including Beijing issuing staple visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Krishna said the two countries have a "better understanding of each other's positions and concerns."

"We also have the confidence, resolve and mechanisms to address our differences peacefully and in a mature manner," he said.

With issues like lack of credible action by Pakistan against all those involved in Mumbai terror attacks sticking out like a sore thumb, the Indo-Pak ties witnessed acrimony in 2010.

It was reflected in the collapse of their first ministerial-level talks, after 2008 terror attacks, in Islamabad in July, despite a mandate from both the Prime Ministers -- Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani -- that the two sides should make efforts to bridge the trust deficit. On the visit of his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi to India, Krishna said, "I look forward to his visit", but refused to comment whether it will be this month as indicated earlier.

He also noted that India was willing to discuss all issues with Pakistan through a bilateral dialogue.

In regard to China, the issue of staple visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir remained a matter of concern for New Delhi which saw it as impingement on the country's "sovereignty and territorial integrity".

"We are committed to cordial and cooperative ties with our neighbours based on the principles of equality, non-interference and mutual respect," Krishna said.

However, terming 2010 as "noteworthy" for Indian diplomacy, the minister said the year witnessed the visits to India by a large number of Heads of State and government, including all the five permanent members of the UNSC.

Each of these leaders, except for China's Wen Jiabao, were unequivocal in backing New Delhi for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. The big breakthrough came when US President Barack Obama announced in his address to Indian Parliament on November 8 that he looked forward to welcoming India "as it prepares to take a seat at the UN Security Council".

With Indian economy doing pretty well at a time when some countries were still reeling under the impact of the global meltdown, the visiting leaders also drummed up deals worth billions of dollars and fixed ambitious bilateral trade targets.

The year 2010 also saw Indian diplomacy becoming more pragmatic and business-oriented as India sealed free trade pacts with Japan and Malaysia, East Asia's star economy, and launched negotiations for civil nuclear deals with Tokyo and Seoul.

Talking about the year ahead, Krishna said as the largest democracy and one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, India is willing to play its due role in 21st century global diplomatic, financial and governance structures.

"We will continue our endeavour to steadily transform the nature of our strategic partnerships with key nations, both to our West and to our East," the minister said.

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