No dialogue with Pakistan in atmosphere of violence: India


New Delhi : With a hostile opposition continuing its attack on the controversial India-Pakistan joint statement, the government Friday clarified that progress in dialogue with Islamabad would not be possible “in an atmosphere vitiated by violence”.

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“Progress is not possible in our dialogue with Pakistan in an atmosphere vitiated by violence or the threat to use violence,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told the Rajya Sabha while replying to a discussion on the working of the external affairs ministry.

India “cannot and will not” be oblivious to the continued threat of terrorism emanating from Islamabad, he told the upper house of parliament.

“The joint statement of July 16, 2009 encapsulates this view and standpoint 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.

In his spirited 45-minute intervention in the debate on the India-Pakistan joint statement Wednesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserted that bilateral engagement or dialogue process cannot move forward if terrorist attacks continue from across the border.

Ruling out a dilution of India’s stand on terrorism emanating from Pakistan, he also stressed that there was no alternative except to continue engagement with Islamabad.

The explanations by the government have not cut ice with the chief opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, whose members walked out of the Lok Sabha Thursday at the end of the two-debate, saying their objections about delinking action on terror from the composite process and a reference to Balochistan in the joint statement have not been addressed by the government.