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Indian PM reaches out to Pakistan


Anantnag (Jammu and Kashmir) : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday sought to reach out to the Pakistan government by saying that it was the desire of India and the people of Pakistan to live in peace.

Addressing a mammoth gathering in Anantnag before flagging off a train service between south and north of Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister, however, underlined that Pakistan needed to curb terrorism directed at India.

“For a productive dialogue it is essential that terrorism must be brought under control,” the Pakistan-born prime minister said in Urdu, reading out from a prepared statement.

“I strongly believe that the majority of the people in Pakistan seek good neighbourly and cooperative relations between India and Pakistan. They seek a permanent peace. This is our view as well,” he said.

Manmohan Singh’s speech comes amid persisting India-Pakistan tensions over what New Delhi says is Islamabad’s unwillingness to bring to book Islamist leaders who masterminded the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008.

He said India was ready to discuss humanitarian “and other issues” with the Pakistani government.

“I call upon the people and government of Pakistan to show their sincerity and good faith. As I have said many times before, we will not be found wanting in our response,” he said.

At the same time, he said India “will press Pakistan to curb the activities of those elements that are engaging in terrorism in India”.

“If they are non-state actors, it is the solemn duty of the government of Pakistan to bring them to book, to destroy their camps and to eliminate their infrastructure. The perpetrators of the acts of terror must pay the heaviest penalty for their barbaric crimes against humanity.

“The real face of the terrorist is clear for the people of Pakistan to see with their own eyes,” he added, in obvious reference to a wave of terror attacks now sweeping Pakistan.