Threat to peace process not eliminated: Singh
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that the threat to the peace process had not been eliminated and asked Pakistan to implement its assurances in letter and spirit.
Making a statement to both houses of parliament on President Pervez Musharraf’s recently concluded visit, Singh said he was satisfied with the progress achieved in talks. “I mentioned to President Musharraf that the whole process of serious and sustained dialogue hinges on building an atmosphere of trust and confidence, free from violence and terror. We look forward to Pakistan implementing their assurances in letter and spirit,” Singh said.
He asserted that the redrawing of boundaries was not possible and both countries had agreed to pursue further measures to enhance interaction across the Line of Control. “The threat to the peace process from extremists and militant organisations has not been eliminated,” he said.
Referring to the joint statement made on Monday, the Indian prime minister said the reaffirmation of the commitments made in the joint statements of Islamabad and New York last year addressed “our concerns relating to terrorism from across the border”. He said “the Kashmir issue has bedevilled relations between India and Pakistan for too long to hope for an immediate resolution”.
Emphasising that the redrawing of boundaries was not possible, he said India was committed to take all measures that could bring the people of both sides together, including transportation and trade across the border and the Line of Control. “Both of us agreed to continue discussions in a sincere, purposeful and forward looking manner,” he said. He added that Musharraf had agreed that the confidence building process between the two countries had made significant progress.