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PM asks Saudis to persuade Pak to desist from terror

By V Mohan Narayan
March 01, 2010 20:59 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday that he had asked Saudi Arabia to use its "good offices" to persuade Pakistan to desist from the path of terror.

Singh was asked by reporters on his way back home from Riyadh whether India would like to see Saudi Arabia as a credible
interlocutor in dealing with some Indo-Pak issues, an apparent reference to remarks made by Minister of State for External
Affairs Shashi Tharoor that created a flutter.

"I know
Saudi Arabia has close relations with Pakistan," Singh said, noting that he had discussed Indo-Pak relations with King Abdullah on a one-to-one basis and explained to him the role that terrorism aided, abetted and inspired by Pakistan is playing in India.

"I did not ask him to do anything other than to use his good offices to persuade
Pakistan to desist from this path," he said.

The Prime Minister said the relations with countries living in the neighbourhood is a very important issue, which
India was working very hard on. "There are times when there are difficulties but we have to bite the bullet," he said.

Asked what he meant by walking the extra mile on relations with
Pakistan, Singh hoped that the world community gets the right message that India is a victim of terrorism and there was a situation where its neighbour has promised unambiguously not to allow its territory to be used for perpetrating terrorist acts directed against India.

"Yet on the ground progress has been rather nil (on
Pakistan's part)," he said.

The Prime Minister noted that it was an increasingly inter-dependent world and whomsoever he had met, he had conveyed to the leaders that all problems between
India and Pakistan can be resolved through meaningful bilateral dialogue if only Islamabad would take a more reasonable attitude to dealing with those terrorist elements who target India.

Singh said the Saudi leadership has a better understanding of the predicament
India faces both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. "There is a great deal of sympathy for India's point of view. What we are asking is very reasonable," he said.

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