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Stop terrorism to make peace, India tells Pakistan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says India is committed to resolving all issues through dialogue with its neighbour

Gulf News

United Nations: Reasserting that Pakistan was the epicentre of terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said India was ready to resolve all issues with it through dialogue provided it shuts down terrorist machinery there.

“State-sponsored cross-border terrorism is of particular concern to India on account of the fact that the epicentre of terrorism in our region is located in our neighbourhood in Pakistan,” the Indian leader said addressing the UN general assembly.

Noting that his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had spoken of “making a new beginning”, Singh said he reciprocated the Pakistani leader’s sentiments, and looked forward to meeting him on Sunday.

“India is committed sincerely to resolving all issues with Pakistan, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through bilateral dialogue on the basis of the Simla Agreement,” he said. “However, for progress to be made, it is imperative that the territory of Pakistan and the areas under its control are not utilised for aiding and abetting terrorism directed against India,” Singh said.

“It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down,” the prime minister said, a day after voicing concerns about terrorism emanating from Pakistan at his summit with US President Barack Obama on Friday.

He had also told Obama on Friday that the expectations from his upcoming meeting with Sharif “have to be toned down given the terror arm which is still active in our subcontinent” and terrorists’ presence “still remain focused in Pakistan”.

On the Kashmir issue too, he asked Sharif to have a “clear understanding of the fact Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that there can never, ever, be a compromise with the unity and territorial integrity of India”.

Calling upon the world community “to renew our commitment, especially here at the UN, for concerted, cohesive and continuing global action against terrorism”, he said: “There can be no tolerance for states sheltering, arming, training or financing terrorists.”

“Nor can they absolve themselves of the responsibility to prevent their territories from being used to launch acts of terrorism,” Singh said in another stern warning to Pakistan.

“The increasingly complex challenges to international peace and security require a new international consensus to be built, whether it is in cyber security, non-proliferation or terrorism,” he said.