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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2673

Indian PM Talks to President Zardari - US welcomes the dialogue

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 18 June, ( Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh continues to take a tough stand on Pakistan. He expects President Asif Ali Zardari to take strong and effective steps to end terrorism directed against India from Pakistan soil. Both leaders met on the sidelines of SCO summit at Yekaterinburg in central Russia on Tuesday for forty-minutes. Prime Minister Singh did not elaborate on the type of action he likes to see but has left no doubt that it should be on the lines of flush out operation in the Swat valley against the Taliban, who are working overtime to herald an Islamic revolution.

Local TV channels have quoted Singh as telling Zardari that if Islamabad showed ‘courage, determination and statesmanship to take the high road to peace, India will meet it more than half the way’.

Zardari told him that he was sincere in fighting terrorism but he talked about difficulties his government is facing in tackling the menace and sought ‘some time’ in this regard.

He also suggested reactivation of the joint terror mechanism the two countries had established in 2006.

Islamabad is however not happy with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ‘blunt’ message to President Zardari in front of media that Pakistan should not allow its soil for terrorism against India. These remarks are unacceptable, said Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan in the Senate.

American Reaction

On its part, the United States has welcomed the resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue, which it has been pushing for a while. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said on Wednesday that a resumption of high-level engagement in the aftermath of the November Mumbai attacks is ‘encouraging’.

The United States has always welcomed dialogue and better relations between India and Pakistan’, Kelly said and remarked ‘it’s also obvious that the pace, the scope, and the character of that dialogue is something for Indian and Pakistani leaders to decide’.

‘How and when to approach that dialogue is something for them (India and Pakistan) to decide’, the American official said.

He went on to say ‘A resumption of such high-level engagement in the aftermath of the November Mumbai attacks is encouraging. We have said before that India and Pakistan need to continue their dialogue to find joint solutions against terrorism and to promote regional stability’.

Diplomatic observers view the Kelly comment as readiness of Obama administration to accommodate the concerns of Delhi over Pak failure to act against terrorists targeting India.

-Asian Tribune -

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