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No dialogue with Pak in atmosphere of violence: Krishna

July 31, 2009 16:05 IST
Faced with strident attack from opposition over the Indo-Pak joint statement, government on Friday said progress in dialogue with Pakistan is not possible in an atmosphere vitiated by violence or the threat to use violence and claimed this was encapsulated in the document.

Replying to a discussion on the working of his ministry in the Rajya Sabha, Union External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said India "cannot and will not" be oblivious to the continued threat of terrorism emanating from Islamabad.

"Progress is not possible in our dialogue with Pakistan in an atmosphere vitiated by violence or the threat to use violence. The Joint Statement of July 16, 2009 encapsulates this view and stand-point that any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can only follow the concrete fulfilment of their commitments not to allow their territory to be used for terrorist activities against India," he said.

His response came after Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said a "monumental lapse" had been committed by the government at Sharm-el Sheikh and the praise for Atal Bihari Vajpayee cannot shield him from this.

Rejecting the Bharatiya Janata Party charge that the government has removed the pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorism, Krishna said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he have left the Pakistani leadership in no doubt that they act against perpetrators of Mumbai and other terror attacks against India.

Appealing to members not to give more credence to what others say over what the Prime Minister and the government have formally stated on the joint statement, Krishna said "we are united against terrorism."

"But equally we will continue the consistent policy towards Pakistan which includes dialogue in the steps we will take," he said.

The minister said people of both India and Pakistan must be allowed to prosper in an atmosphere of peace. Participating in the debate, Jaitley said the Prime Minister has brought India to a position of "weakness" from strength, which former Prime Minister Vajpayee had brought to the country while dealing with Pakistan.

Jaitley said Singh has reversed the process set in motion by his predecessor, as highlighted in the January 6, 2004 joint statement, which said terrorism must be prevented to take forward dialogue and Pakistan would not permit its territory to support terrorism.

He said de-linking action on terrorism from composite dialogue "completely destroys the Vajpayee line...praise for him cannot shield Prime Minister from the monumental lapses."

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