Millennium Post

PM open to talks on all issues with Pak

The UPA government is finally prepared to have an open dialogue with Pakistan on all issues for a lasting peace in the region. The lately confirmed meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan premier Nawaz Shariff on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meet later this week is expected to mark the first major step towards a comprehensive dialogue.

Top level official sources said the government is open to discuss all issues with Pakistan – from terrorism, situation along the Line of Control (LoC), unfinished agenda on economic co-operation, including electricity and gas supplies, Afghanistan and the whole region. Only a lasting peace can help the countries in the region exploit their true economic and development potentials and improve the lot of all concerned.

The Afghan political transition after the proposed US troop withdrawal next year concerns all its neighbours. While the extent of the US troop withdrawal is still being negotiated upon between the two countries, a broad based consensus on the future of Afghanistan should be possible. The good thing is the Afghan security forces have been trained well to largely tackle the problem of terrorism. Its economy has been making good progress.

 On the Iran-US relations, the sources say that India has always wanted a direct Iran-US engagement on all sensitive and security related issues, including nuclear standoff. ‘We are hopeful that the two sides will work together towards resolution of the issues. This will benefit all. It will be of particular benefit to India.’

The sources denied that India has failed to honour the Teesta river water sharing pact and boundary agreement with Bangladesh. ‘Bangladesh wanted assurance of 50 per cent Teesta water flow through the release point at Dulian. To our knowledge, 100 per cent water is flowing into Bangladesh at this point of time. Both countries are independently measuring the flow of water and sharing information,’ the sources added.

Prior to his departure for the USA, Manmohan Singh said that over the past decade India’s relationship with the US has transformed into a global strategic partnership. ‘The intensive, high-level bilateral visits over the last few months reflect the strong momentum of our engagement,’ he said.
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