New Delhi: Under attack from BJP for the outcome of his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the starting point for “any meaningful dialogue” will depend on actions by Islamabad to end cross-border terror and hoped there would be “forward movement” in the coming months.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha against the backdrop of BJP’s charge of reversal of India’s long-standing position, Singh said “action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and therefore cannot await other developments.”
BJP was not satisfied, with leader of Opposition L K Advani charging that India had “conceded” and “capitulated”. He then led a BJP walkout from the House.
Singh, who met Gilani at Sharm-el Sheikh in Egypt yesterday, said he had conveyed to the Pakistani leader that “sustained, effective and credible action needs to be taken not only to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice but also to shut down the operations of terrorist groups so as to prevent any future attacks.”
Underlining that India seeks cooperative relations with Pakistan and “engagement is the only way forward to realise the vision” of a stable and prosperous South Asia, he said India is “willing to go more than half way provided Pakistan creates the conditions for a meaningful dialogue”.
He said “Whether, when and in what form we broaden the dialogue with Pakistan will depend on future developments.”