Press Trust of India
Istanbul, 5 October: Coming down heavily on Pakistan, President Pranab Mukherjee has said unless it dismantles the terror infrastructure on its soil, there is no scope for progress in talks between the two countries.
“We demand of Pakistan that the infrastructures created by the terrorist outfits in your territories, dismantle them! Keep your commitments to India, don’t allow terrorists to use your land to perpetrate their nefarious activities on India.
“Unless that atmosphere is created, how could you talk about other developments? Therefore, we do hope that what Nawaz Sharif stated, he will try to implement that,” Mr Mukherjee said in an interview to Turkish newspaper ‘Today’s Zaman’.
The President exhorted that a “serious effort” should be made by Pakistan on this subject as he said most terrorist activities against India are emanating from “territories under the control of Pakistan.”
“Let the appropriate atmosphere be created. The actual line of control on which the ceasefire exists, it has been violated.”
He also expressed happiness over the steps taken by the two countries to resolve their differences.
“And I am glad that both Prime Ministers have agreed to direct their officers, Director Generals of Military Operations ~ to sit down and resolve this issue in the framework of the 1972 agreement, which is more popularly known as the Simla Agreement, between Mrs Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then Prime Minister of Pakistan.”
“That is the framework we can use to resolve all issues through dialogue. But for that peace is needed. Serious effort should be made by Pakistan. This is our appeal to assure that their territory is not being used to carry on terrorist activities against India,” he said.
He said both the countries have a lot of mechanisms to talk to each other on issues related to terror and territorial integrity.
“So far as our relation with Pakistan is concerned, there are regular institutional arrangements. Also one point is to be kept in view, the commitment which was made by Pakistan, not now but in 2004, that Pakistani territory will not be allowed to be used by the forces inimical to India.
“But most of the terrorist activities are emanating from the territories under the control of Pakistan. Therefore, in the recent talks which have taken place on 29 September in New York at the margin of UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) between the Prime Ministers Dr Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif, India has highlighted emphasis on these aspects,” Mr Mukherjee said.
“We appreciate the gestures of Nawaz Sharif shown towards India even immediately after assuming office. And there is communality in our approach. We do believe that we can expand our cooperation in trade, investment, economic sectors, but for that the appropriate conducive atmosphere must be there,” the President said.
Mr Mukherjee also reminded Pakistan about its commitment to bring to book the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
“India desires peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations with Pakistan, which require an environment free from terror and violence. India is firmly resolved to combat and defeat the terrorist menace that continues to receive encouragement and reinforcement from across the border.
“We have consistently stressed the need for Pakistan to honour its solemn commitment of not allowing territory under its control to be used for terrorism directed against India in any manner. Pakistan must also show determined action to dismantle the terrorist networks, organisations and infrastructure operating from territories under its control,” he said.
Mr Mukherjee said that Indians expect that Pakistan will show “tangible movement in investigating and bringing to justice quickly those Pakistanis responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack in November 2008, including those whose trial is presently underway in Islamabad.”
“India remains committed to the resolution of all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including those pertaining to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, through a peaceful bilateral dialogue as mutually agreed under the Simla Agreement of 1972.
“For this dialogue to progress meaningfully, an environment free from cross-border terrorism and violence along the Line of Control is an essential prerequisite,” he said.