India asks Pak to grasp ‘hands of friendship’

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, extending hands of friendship to Pakistan, on Thursday said India is ready to discuss all outstanding issues provided the neighbouring country stopped use of its territory for anti-India activities.

Replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address, Dr. Singh said: “Today, we have an atmosphere in which negotiations can go forward. But there are hopeful sign. After meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries in Thimpu, they have agreed to resume the process of dialogue and that is the only way in which we can resolve our problems. We are willing to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan provided Pakistan gives up its practice of allowing the use of its territory for terrorist activities against India.”

Talking with regard to the foreign policy, Dr. Singh said: “I have maintained and I still maintain that full development of this sub-continent of ours will not be realized unless India and Pakistan relations are normalised. I have been working for that objective since 2005. Some progress was made, but then there was a lapse and the terrorist elements, would of course, not allow the process of normalisation to come into effect.”

Hoping that Pakistan would grasp India’s hands of friendship, Dr. Singh said:”But I am convinced and I believe that there is a growing conviction in Pakistan as well among the thinking population that terrorism is not an instrument which can be used by any civilised Government as an instrument of its State Policy.”

“I sincerely hope and believe that the new ruling classes of Pakistan would grasp the hands of our friendship and recognize that, whatever are our differences, terror, as an instrument of State Policy, is something that no civilised society ought to use,” he added. (ANI)

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