Trust deficit is biggest problem with Pakistan: PM


New Delhi : Trust deficit is the biggest problem with Pakistan and no progress can happen in negotiations unless this issue is addressed, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Monday.

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“Trust deficit is the biggest problem,” he said at the first major press conference to mark the first year of the second term of the United Progressive Alliance government.

“It is my conviction that … why we haven’t been able to make headway in composite dialogue is that there has been lack of adequate trust,” he said.

Singh said trust deficit was identified as a core issue when he met his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in Bhutan last month.

“We agreed that trust deficit is a major problem blocking progress in the direction of going forward and that it should be our common endeavour to reduce the trust deficit. That’s we agreed that the foreign ministers should meet,” he said.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is scheduled to meet with his Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad July 15.

India had stopped the composite dialogue process with Pakistan after the terror attack in Mumbai in November 2008.

“I am hopeful that this process can move forward. At least, that is the message that I got from talking to the Pakistan prime minister,” he said.

Singh said it was his “firm belief” that India cannot realise its full potential unless “we have the best possible relations with our neighbours, and Pakistan happens to be our largest neighbour”.