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'PM's visit to Pak depends on progress in 26/11 case'

October 04, 2012 20:29 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Pakistan hinges on the progress on action taken by Islamabad against the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attack, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said on Thursday.

"The prime minister has said he is looking forward to the visit, but wants substantive progress on Pakistan's action against perpetrators of the Mumbai attack," Mathai said after delivering a keynote address at the day-long Fifth IISS-MEA Foreign Policy Dialogue at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

He noted that "some progress has been made in trade and people-to-people relations with Pakistan, but not much progress has been made in other areas."

Replying to a question on India's relations with China, he said, "It is a matter of satisfaction that we have been able to establish peace and tranquility. We have set up a mechanism to constantly monitor the situation. It was set up last year."

With regard to progress in implementing the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Foreign Secretary said, "We had reached agreements with three countries for setting up nuclear plans and we are scaling up the nuclear energy to 700 MW.

"The first and second unit of the Kalpakkam plant is about to go on stream."

On Afghanistan, he said "the political process to bring about normalcy there must be Afghan-led and the red-lines must be observed."

Noting that Indian aid to Afghanistan today was USD 2 billion, Mathai said "Afghanistan should be seen as an opportunity (to help restore normalcy) than a problem."

He said a general agreement for Turkmanistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan India (TAPI) energy pipeline has already taken place and "that could be a genuine game changer."

When asked about India-UK relations, Mathai said, "Exchange of actionable intelligence in real time would amount to quantum leap in the strategic relations between the two countries."

He said problem of illegal immigrants should not lead to collateral damage in the education sector.

Replying to a question on the possibility of Iran going nuclear, he said "We believe that only way to find a durable solution is through diplomatic negotiations."

Consequence of any other way will be very serious, he said.

Answering another question, he said Japan has committed USD 4 billion for developing the Delhi-Mumbai corridor.

"The India-Japan relations is set to grow," he said.

On Syria, Mathai said it should be a Syria-led political process and "India supports monitoring mission in Syria.

H S Rao London
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