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Talks with Pakistan postponed

Diplomatic Correspondent

India for strong G-8 message


  • There cannot be a segmented response to terrorism
  • None can have any doubts about India's commitment to peace process
  • G-5 leaders to meet on Sunday ahead of their meeting with G-8 leaders

    PHOTO: RAJEEV BHATT

    Shyam Saran.

    NEW DELHI: The India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary-level talks, scheduled for July 21, have been postponed, a top South Block official said on Saturday. "This has been conveyed to the Pakistan High Commission and their Foreign Ministry," he said.

    A fresh set of dates would be discussed through diplomatic channels, the official said.

    The decision is a clear signal to Islamabad that New Delhi is extremely unhappy about Pakistan not implementing its January 2004 commitment to end terrorism from territory under its control.

    Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told presspersons on Saturday that the G-8 nations should send out a "coordinated, unambiguous and global response" to terrorism in the wake of the Mumbai blasts.

    His observations come ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's departure on Sunday for "outreach meetings" in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the G-8 leaders are gathered.

    Mr. Saran said countries should develop a mechanism for cooperation against terror networks. He made it clear that the Prime Minister would make a strong pitch against terrorism in St. Petersburg.

    Lamenting that terrorist groups had better cooperation among themselves, he said terrorism was not just an India-Pakistan problem. It had wider regional and global dimensions.

    Networks interlinked

    The terror networks responsible for the Madrid, London and Mumbai bombings were all interlinked. "There cannot be a segmented response to terrorism."

    Asked if India would like Pakistan named in any G-8 statement on terrorism, he said New Delhi was not in the business of getting the G-8 to name anyone in particular.

    No one could have any doubt about India's commitment to the peace process. At the same time, India's ability to take it forward was intrinsically linked to Pakistan meeting its commitment to end terrorism as per the January 2004 joint statement.

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