India is willing to hold a sustained dialogue with Pakistan if Islamabad gives an assurance that its soil will not be used to direct terrorist attacks and foment anti-India feelings, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said on Thursday.
Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Krishna said there had been uninterrupted dialogue from 2004 till the Mumbai terrorist attack in November 2008. "The attack in Mumbai was a point where we had to discontinue the composite dialogue," he said.
"India will be willing to hold sustained dialogue with Pakistan" if the Islamic nation was to guarantee that its "soil is not going to be directed for terrorist attacks (against India) and foment anti-India feelings," he said.
"The biggest confidence building measure that Pakistan can do is to prevent any future terrorist attack (on India) and prevent speeches made by Jihadi forces," Krishna said.
"We would like to have friendly, cordial and cooperative relations with Pakistan," he said.
The prime ministers of the two countries had in Thimpu identified trust deficit as the impeding factor which needed to be bridged. Meeting of foreign secretaries and foreign ministers of the two countries was decided as one of the steps to lessen the trust deficit.
"Our effort has been to fulfill that mandate given to us by the prime minister," he said.
Krishna said India considers Hafiz Saeed, leader of Jamaat-ud-Daawa, as the mastermind of the Mumbai attack.
"Unfortunately, Pakistan becomes subjective whenever we bring Hafiz Saeed and others into the discussion," he said. "We certainly would like Pakistan to be helpful and cooperative with India so we can live in peace with each other."
"The fulfillment, in letter and spirit, of the solemn commitment given by the leaders of Pakistan, at the highest level, of not allowing territory under Pakistan's control to
be used for any terrorist activity directed against India, would be the biggest confidence building measure," he said.
Krishna said he had, in his talks with the foreign minister of Pakistan on July 15, stated that any further terrorist attack on India emanating from Pakistani soil would cause immense harm to the normalisation process.
He called for "credible and firm action against terrorist groups and their leaders, like the JuD and Hafiz Saeed, who continue to incite violence against India."