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Dr Singh, Cameron send tough message to Pak

Last updated on: July 29, 2010 22:04 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday broke his silence over the fiasco at the recent foreign minister level talks in Pakistan, stating that the way the press conference was handled by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi could have been avoided.

In his first reaction after the July 5 foreign ministerial talks which ended in sharp differences, Dr Singh said: "I believe there was agreement on large number of issues having bearing on our relations. But the way the press conference was headed at the end of the visit by the foreign minister of Pakistan could, I think, have been avoided."

It detracted the "large elements of agreement" reached between the Foreign Ministers, he said in reply to a question at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Dr Singh, who was asked whether he was disappointed with the failure of the talks between the two foreign ministers, said: "I think, we are too close to events to pass a firm judgement on the outcome." 

The prime minister said that India expected the world community to promote India's position that Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used for terrorism against India.

Dr Singh said, "We believe that Pakistan should be as serious in tackling terrorism on its western border as on the eastern borders. I sincerely hope that the world community would use its good offices to promote this."

Earlier in the day, Qureshi had stated that Pakistan respected India's concerns on terrorism and the Mumbai trial, and that New Delhi should do the same by addressing Islamabad's interests like Kashmir and water sharing, for dialogue to succeed.

On his discussions with his British counterpart, the prime minister said that the two countries discussed Afghanistan and agreed that the terrorism was the 'single biggest threat' to the region.

"We agreed to further intensify cooperation in the area of countering terrorism," he said about the talks between the two leaders, which he noted was "wide ranging and extremely productive," he said.

Dr Singh said that he believe after 9/11, the world community has recognised that terrorism constitutes a very important threat to all civilised societies in the world.

"Further there is an agreement that there is no cause is good enough to justify to resort to terrorism," he said.

Cameron said the Indian prime minister was absolutely right in saying that terrorism cannot be allowed.

Meanwhile, endorsing India's stand that no cause is good enough to justify terrorism, Britain has said that it will discuss with Pakistan 'frankly, clearly and openly' on the need to reduce and eliminate terror from India.

British PM David Cameron said, "We want to work with Pakistan to make it fight Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Afghan or Pakistan Taliban.

"Pakistan government has taken steps and it needs to take further steps to reduce terrorism in Afghanistan, India and the streets of London."

He was replying to a question as to what the international community would do to see that Pakistan does not export terror, especially to India, as stated by him in Bangalore yesterday.

At the same time, he said Pakistan should be encouraged to take steps to see that terror is reduced.

"I think the right thing is to have discussion with Pakistan frankly, clearly and openly.

Next week, I will have discussions with President of Pakistan," he said. 

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