Noting that India is yet to see Pakistan take effective steps to end infiltration and dismantle terror infrastructure, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said on Monday that a "meaningful dialogue" cannot be possible till Islamabad implements its commitments on these counts.
Addressing the Indian envoys in New Delhi, he said India wishes to resolve differences with Pakistan through dialogue and has conveyed its readiness to engage in meaningful discussions and develop bilateral relations in a "positive manner". "We have maintained that a stable Pakistan at peace with itself and the region is a desirable goal. We wish to address our differences with Pakistan through dialogue," Krishna told the 112 heads of missions who have assembled in New Delhi for a two-day conclave to discuss how India's interests could be enhanced abroad. "At the same time, we made it clear that a meaningful dialogue will only be possible following the fulfillment by Pakistan of its commitment not to allow its territory to be used for terrorist activities against India," he said, adding Pakistan must honour the pledges made in this regard.
Following the Mumbai attacks of 26 November 2008, Krishna said, Pakistan has taken "some steps under the pressure of evidence presented to them. However, we are still to see Pakistan take effective steps to end infiltration and dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism". The conclave will be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.
Krishna said terrorism and ensuring stable and peaceful neighbourhood were the main challenges before India's pursuit of national goal of comprehensive socio-economic development. Krishna, who inaugurated the conference, also dwelt upon
India's engagement with the world, saying the main purpose of the foreign policy is to assist in the fulfillment of the "foremost strategic goals" of development, inclusive economic growth and alleviation of poverty.
These goals would be met by providing an enabling external environment which "ensures our security, promotes trade, nurtures our key bilateral relationships, safeguards our national interest and enhances our influence in the world," the External Affairs Minister told the envoys. "We should never forget that the aspirations of India's people are the bedrock of India's foreign policy," he said. Referring to the immediate neighbourhood, Krishna said India is committed to close and good neighbourly relations with all the countries in the sub-continent."We share a special affinity and common destiny with our
neighbours," he said.
Turning to China, he said "there is space for both of us to grow and meet our aspirations." He said China is "now India's largest trading partner and there is congruence in our views on many global issues but there are outstanding bilateral issues that should be resolved peacefully through dialogue." He also talked about India's growing engagement with Afghanistan and rest of the world, particularly the US, Russia and East Asia.