Srinagar: Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh Thursday ended a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir
saying that curbing terrorism by Pakistan was not a precondition but
"a practical way" to create an atmosphere conducive for peace talks.
Pakistan's destinies are very 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," Manmohan Singh told reporters here, referring to Pakistan
and the anti-India Islamist groups based there.
"We are a
democracy. If day in and day out terrorist attacks continue to take
precious lives, we cannot create the requisite 'maahol' (atmosphere)
for meaningful negotiations. It is not a precondition (for talks).
It is a practical way of looking at things," he said, a day after
extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan.
He said for
confidence building measures to take root, "we require the
cooperation of the government and people of Pakistan. We will be
happy to discuss... these issues with Pakistan. I sincerely hope
that Pakistan will create an atmosphere in which negotiations (can
minister took questions on a variety of issues at his media
interaction in Srinagar, the urban hub of a dragging separatist
drive that has left thousands dead in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.
from Maoist insurgency to Kashmir's infrastructure.
At the same
time, Manmohan Singh said he was not satisfied with the action taken
by Pakistan against the masterminds of the Mumbai terror attack of
November 2008 that left some 170 people dead in India's financial
"We are not
satisfied. That goes without saying," he said. "We hope Pakistan
will take effective measures to bring to justice all the
perpetrators of 26/11."
denied Islamabad's allegations that India was backing the insurgency
in Balochistan and the Taliban to destabilise Pakistan. "What was
said about the Indian role in Balochistan has no basis. Those who
are levelling these false charges know it jolly well.
applies to the accusation of India supporting the Taliban. Nothing
can be far fetched, far from the truth. We are victims of terrorism
aided and abetted from the Pakistan side. Both, references to
Balochistan and what is said about Taliban, are widely false," he
A day after
declaring he was ready to embrace anyone to win peace in Kashmir, he
voiced hope that "my appeal for dialogue will be reciprocated in the
same spirit in which it was made" and asked separatists to give up
the gun and begin talks".
willing to engage in serious discussions with every group provided
they shun the path of violence. We are willing to carry all
stakeholders with us," he said.
minister, who Wednesday inaugurated a railway link between Anantnag
and Baramulla in the Kashmir Valley, said he was "satisfied" with
his Kashmir visit. He told the state government that New Delhi would
"extend full support" for peace and development of the state.
fruitful discussions with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his
cabinet colleagues. I had wide-ranging discussions with various
political parties and sections of the civil society," he said,
announcing a slew of measures initiated by the central government
for the state.
president Sonia Gandhi, who also heads the ruling United Progressive
Alliance (UPA), accompanied Manmohan Singh to the Kashmir Valley.
For the first time, both addressed a mammoth rally together in
Anantnag without using the customary bullet-proof screens.
minister pledged to provide support to economic reconstruction,
employment generation and infrastructure building in the only
Muslim-majority state. He said Jammu and Kashmir had the potential
to become one of the world's greatest tourist destinations.
government, he said, would provide additional 500 MWs of power to
the state during the winter -- a step likely to bring relief to the
people in the power-starved state.
escalating Maoist violence, the prime minister said it needed to be
dealt with "in a holistic way".
has to maintain and enforce law and order. Law and order is a
precondition for any sustained social and economic development," he