Kashmiri intifada forces India ‘to discuss all issues with Pakistan’

September 22, 2010

India is prepared to “discuss all outstanding issues” with Pakistan, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, to ensure stability in the South Asian region, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said in Boston.

“The issue of Jammu & Kashmir comes up in our relationship with Pakistan and we’ve said very clearly, very confidently and very transparently that we are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan,” Rao said on Sunday.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this month said at the start of an APHC meeting, “The only path for lasting peace and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir is that of dialogue and discussion. Those who have grievances against the government have to talk to the administration,” he said. “But it is also true that meaningful dialogue can happen only in an atmosphere free from violence and confrontation.” more by Manmohan Singh

Pakistan has said that instead of thinking over cosmetic measures for the solution of the Kashmir issue, India should revisit its policy of trying to resolve it under its constitution.

Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit went further to the extent of saying that India should review its practice of calling Kashmir an integral part of the country.

Basit, talking to a private channel, said that it was a matter of concern for all that over one hundred Kashmiri people had died during the last three months, The News reported.

“We are very much concerned with the situation and we understand that this issue cannot be solved through the use of force,” he added.

The Indians should quit the policy of finding Kashmir solution under their constitution, and should review the practice of calling Kashmir as integral part of India, Basit said.

Commenting on the Indian response to Pakistan Foreign Minister’s statement, he pointed out that it bore no significance, as it was merely a repetition of India’s demonstrated stance.

Calling the issue of Kashmir an international issue having a number of UN resolutions over it, Basit stated that India had committed at the UN to hold a plebiscite in the region, in order to know the will of Kashmiri people, he said.

Basit also stated that though India had always been denying the UN resolutions and commitments at the world forum, but the Kashmiri people were committed to get their legitimate rights.

India had used almost all options to suppress the struggle of Kashmiris during the past six decades but in vain, Basit claimed, adding that now, the time had come for Indians to think rationally for regional and global peace. (ANI)

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here yesterday India is ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan despite the relationship between the two countries being complicated by the issue of terrorism.

She said India is determined to persevere her dialogue with Pakistan in order to resolve outstanding issues so that the region will be stable, and so that the rationale of economic development in an atmosphere of peace for all of South Asia remains our steadfast goal

“Our relationship with Pakistan has been complicated. Despite this threat, we understand well the Kautilyan advice that a great power loses stature if it remains bogged down in neighbourhood entanglements,” said Nirupama Rao.

She was speaking on Monday at Harward University on ‘India’s Global Role’.

Talking about Afghanistan, Nirupama Rao said India is supportive of the US efforts to fight terrorism in Afghanistan and to bring stability there.

“We have a direct interest in Afghanistan, not because we see it as a theatre of rivalry with Pakistan” said Rao.

“Indeed, developments in Afghanistan over the past few years have demonstrated in ample measure that peace, security and prosperity in today’s world is indivisible, and that therefore, the international community in Afghanistan must stay the course,” she added.

The Foreign Secretary said Indian assistance to Afghanistan amounting to over US1.3 billion dollars has helped build vital civil infrastructure, develop human resources and capacity in the areas of education, health, agriculture and rural development.

Nirupama Rao further said China is India’s largest neighbour and its rise is a reality that faces the entire world today.

“The question asked is whether our relationship with China will be one dominated by increasing competition for influence and for resources as our economic needs grow. I believe the proposition should not be exaggerated in a way that it overshadows all attempts to rationalize the relationship between India and China. The reality is that India and China have worked hard over the last two decades to deepen dialogue and bilateral relations in a number of fields,” said Rao.

“Peace and tranquility have prevailed in the India-China border areas, despite the unsettled boundary question. Our trade with China is growing faster than that with any other country. Therefore, we need not see our relations with China as being only competitive. The complicated history of the outstanding boundary question entails that discussions to resolve it cannot be of short duration with easy fixes,” she added.

Nirupama Rao said Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said both India and China will continue to grow simultaneously, and added that the policies between the two countries will have to cater to this emerging reality.

“China’s growing ability to project its military strength, its rapid military modernization, and its very visible economic capabilities, introduce a new calculus in the security situation in our region. We are also alert to the continuing and close security relationship between China and Pakistan. These factors serve to further underscore the complexity of the India-China equation today,” she claimed.

Nirupama Rao further said India’s vision of an enhanced South Asian cooperation for development is challenged.

“We must act jointly and with determination to meet the challenges” she added. (ANI).India ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, says Nirupama Rao 2010-09-21 16:00:00. Agencies


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