New York, Sep 30 (PTI): Trust but verify — this will be India’s approach in dealing with Pakistan which must eliminate the “bacteria” of all forms of anti-India terror from its soil.
Stating this, immediately after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid while playing down expectations from the meeting, expressed the view that there was a “reasonable element of hope that this discussion will not go waste.”
Singh had made it clear to Sharif that “while we must trust you, we must continue to verify,” he told PTI in an interview here.
Sharif must “walk the talk”, Khurshid said in response to a question on the positive statements made by the Pakistani leader after he returned to power recently.
Khurshid said the “bacteria” of anti-India terrorism rooted in Pakistan must be eliminated whether “it is state-sponsored, state-controlled, state-mandated or state-encouraged” and should not be allowed to grow and destroy the “sapling” of “creative constructive relationship”.
“Our Prime Minister wants to give him (Sharif) a chance, wants to trust him. But as he (Singh) has said we have to verify,” said Khurshid while defending Singh’s meeting with Sharif despite opposition BJP contending that it was not the right time as Pakistan was engaging in ceasefire violations.
Noting that Sharif has taken over as Prime Minister of Pakistan recently, he said there is a “reasonable element of hope that this discussion will not go waste and it will lead to some improvement and something concrete in the future.”
At the hour-long meeting with Sharif yesterday on the sidelines of UNGA, Singh made it clear that ending ceasefire violations on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir is a pre-condition for resumption of bilateral dialogue.
Khurshid, who was part of the Indian delegation, said Singh had “free, frank and friendly discussion” with Sharif and flagged every issue of concern, including Mumbai attack, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its chief Hafiz Saeed, and LoC firing during the meeting.