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India hopes Pak gets serious about dismantling terror camps

September 27
03:31 2011

NEW YORK: Asserting that there cannot be a “selective approach” in the fight against terrorism, India today hoped that Pakistan will be “serious” in dismantling terror camps on its soil and live up to its pronouncements.

“I am sure they (Pakistan) will realize and they have, by now they should have (realized) that terrorism cannot be fought selectively,” External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said after meeting his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar at a reception hosted by her here.

“It has to be fought across the board” as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stressed repeatedly, Krishna told reporters here.

Krishna recalled that Khar had mentioned during her visit to New Delhi in July this year that her country too was a victim of terrorism.

Replying to a question that US too is talking in the same voice as India on the terror network in Pakistan, Krishna said terrorism has to be fought across the board and not in a selective manner.

Krishna said India has brought to Pakistan’s attention and notice through dossiers on the terror threat that emanates from its soil.

He said Pakistan had assured India that its territory “is not going to be used for any hostile activities” against India.

“I hope Pakistan gets serious about dismantling all the terror training camps which are existing in the country….We expect that Pakistan will live up to their pronouncements.”

When asked what Khar, one of the youngest foreign ministers Pakistan has ever seen, will bring to the bilateral dialogue with India, Krishna said he found that she has responded positively to exchanges between people, academia, teachers, students and sportsmen from the two countries.

“This is the surest way of building bridges and we will certainly reciprocate.”

On the recent heated exchanges between Pakistan and the US over Haqqani network and ISI links, Krishna said it would not be “proper” for India to comment on Pakistan’s relations with other countries.

Expressing happiness over his meeting with Khar, Krishna said such social exchanges will go a long way in normalizing relations with the neighboring country.

Noting that the Pakistani delegation was “obviously very very happy” with his presence at the reception, Krishna said he too was “very pleased” with his visit to the social gathering.

Krishna said Khar too expressed pleasure with his presence. Krishna quoted Khar, who told him that “look at all the smiles at every Pakistani face.”

“She was extremely warm and I was very pleased that I did go to the reception,” Krishna told reporters later.

He said such social exchanges are part of the overall attempt that “we have been making with all seriousness to normalize relations with Pakistan.”

“These gestures will certainly go a long way in improving bilateral relationship. I am happy that I did go there,” he said.

Echoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s sentiments that a country cannot choose its neighbors, Krishna said it is necessary to normalize relations with Pakistan.

“The fact is Pakistan happens to be a close neighbor with which we have connection, both in terms of civilization, we have same common history, background and language. Hence it is necessary to normalize relationship” with it.

Meanwhile, Khar lobbied the world community to back Pakistan’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council at the reception.

“Pakistan is seeking election for the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council at a time when the world is passing through a particularly challenging phase. Pakistan’s long experience and active participation in the UN system enables it to contribute constructively towards addressing myriad of problems,” Khar said while addressing the reception.

She asked the world community to back Pakistan, saying it would work to advance the goals of promoting peace, harmony and security if it is elected to the body.

The election, in which Pakistan faces Kyrgyzstan, will be held on October 21. -PTI

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