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Stay off J&K, it's ours: PM to OIC

Stay off J&K, it's ours: PM to OIC

Author: Masood Hussain
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: October 30, 2009

Introduction: Says Pak Ending Terror Not A Precondition For Talks

WINDING up his two-day "productive and fruitful" visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he is returning satisfied to Delhi as "a new chapter" was opening in the peace process in J&K. With all the stakeholders given a chance to achieve "a permanent and peaceful reconciliation", Mr Singh hoped that his appeal for dialogue would be "reciprocated in the spirit in which it was made".

"I made an appeal yesterday for dialogue and I hope that it will be reciprocated in the spirit in which it was made," the prime minister told a crowded news conference after interacting with the police and the paramilitary forces. "We have to carry all stakeholders with us to achieve a permanent and peaceful reconciliation in J&K so that we can concentrate on an ambitious development agenda that will lead to full economic revival and reconstructions."

"We regret that OIC has got into this issue," Dr Singh said when asked about the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) appointing a special envoy, Libyan leader raking up the issue in UN and China resorting to cartographic statements. "We have lodged a protest with OIC on this account."

India, he said, wants peaceful resolution of "all problems involving J&K", both in its internal and external dimensions. "And we are not acting under anybody's pressure and are not going to be induced to act under pressure of anybody," he said, adding that it is in the interest of the people of J&K as well as that of Pakistan.

He also reiterated the plan to engage even hardliners in serious discussions provided they shun the path of violence.

Mr Singh, however, linked the implementation of certain confidence building measures (CBM) with cooperation from Pakistan. "I have outlined them (CBM) in my speech yesterday. And I have also said that, these CBMs should move further ahead, which requires the cooperation of the people and the government of Pakistan." Mr Singh said he "sincerely hope that Pakistan will create an atmosphere in which negotiations can lead to a fruitful result".

He said Islamabad must end terror and create a situation conducive for talks. Asked if his insistence over ending terror for talks is a precondition, the prime minister said it was not. "I have maintained on more than one occasion that destinies of India and Pakistan are closely interlinked. If negotiations to deal with all outstanding issues are to make any headway, it is essential that the terrorist elements should be brought under control," he said.

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