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No Pak talks till 26/11 brains punished: PM

No Pak talks till 26/11 brains punished: PM

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 11, 2009

Introduction: Rubbishes Claim On Delhi Hand In Lahore Attack

Relations with Pakistan appear to have hit a new low following Islamabad's audacious attempt to blame India for last month's terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore.

The effrontery came from Lahore police commissioner Pervaiz Rathore and reinforced the impression that the growing spread of terror was unlikely to bring about any behavioural change in Pakistan.

It met with a strong response from PM Manmohan Singh who, during an interaction with women journalists on Friday, contemptuously dismissed Rathore's impudence. "The statement of the police chief needs to be dismissed with the contempt it deserves,'' Singh said. He added it was a "usual tactic'' to divert attention from Pakistan's failure to fight terrorism.

Later on Friday, Rathore said he actually meant "pro-India Afghans'' when he spoke about Indian involvement. This may have been an attempt at damage control, but it did nothing to enhance India's confidence in Pakistan's claim that its professed anti-terror claims were sincere. Singh used the interaction with journalists to make it clear that India would not resume normal ties with Pakistan until such time as there was enough evidence to prove that Islamabad was serious about bringing the 26/11 guilty to justice.

He asserted that the government would not heed any suggestions to talk to Pakistan. "Let me say there is no pressure on us to resume a dialogue. If there is any attempt, we will not succumb to that pressure,'' Singh said when asked about media reports suggesting that the US was applying pressure on India to resume talks with Pakistan.

The PM added, "I have said several times that dialogue with Pakistan is a necessity. We are neighbours and we can't choose our neighbours. But this dialogue cannot resume unless Pakistan gives sincere evidence of its willingness to prosecute all those involved in the Mumbai attacks.'' TNN

I would have quit if nuke deal had fallen through: Manmohan

New Delhi: "I was very clear that if the nuclear deal had not gone through, I would have resigned as prime minister," said Manmohan Singh, for the first time acknowledging that the deal, which almost brought his government to its knees, was a matter of such importance to him. Elaborating on the nuclear deal, Singh said his toughest moment was getting the deal through government and Parliament, and his moment of greatest satisfaction too was getting the deal through. "It was a question of India's honour. We had negotiated this deal for three years with the US. If I was not successful in getting the deal through Parliament, we would be sending out the signal to the world that the Indian political system could not be trusted. If I could not see this through, I was not going to remain prime minister." The assertion came amid a fast-escalating war of rhetoric with the BJP, with the Congress's principal challenger repeatedly taunting the PM as indecisive. On October 12, 2007, Singh had told a similar audience in the Capital that the death of the nuclear deal wasn't that big a deal. But by the time the issue had come to a head by the summer of 2008, Singh let it be known that it was either the deal or him.

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