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Dialogue futile till Pak destroys terror groups, says Advani

Dialogue futile till Pak destroys terror groups, says Advani

Author: Kumar Uttam
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 31, 2011
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/328165/Dialogue-futile-till-Pak-destroys-terror-groups-says-Advani.html

Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Wednesday said no formal dialogue between India and Pakistan should resume until the neighbouring country dismantles terror camps operating from their soil.

On a day India clashed with Pakistan in the second semi-final of the ICC World Cup at Mohali, Advani batted for 'people-to-people' contact to bring down the tension between the two nations but cautioned the Government against any hasty steps with regard to resumption of dialogue.

"Cricket diplomacy is fine. We don't have an issue with that. But the Government should not proceed with resumption of formal dialogue until Pakistan dismantles terror groups operating in its territory," Advani told The Pioneer here on Wednesday.

He was commenting on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to invite his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani for the India-Pakistan cricket match - often described as 'cricket diplomacy'. Advani said this "cricket diplomacy was at best a welcome engagement but not a strategic development".

Asked whether Singh had taken the Opposition into confidence before extending the invitation to the Pakistani PM, Advani replied in negative. The former Deputy Prime Minister described the joint statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh as a big turning point in the relationship between the two countries.

"Even leaked US diplomatic cables, exposed by the WikiLeaks, had quoted former National Security Advisor MK Narayanan as saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's push for talks with Pakistan had scant support within the Government. He was a loner within his own Government," Advani said.

In his conversation with US Ambassador Timothy Roemer, Narayanan described the PM as a "great believer" in talks and negotiations with Islamabad, while he himself was "not a great believer in Pakistan".

Claiming that public sentiment got heavily loaded against the Government after the Sharm-el-Sheikh fiasco, the senior BJP leader reiterated his objection to resumption of dialogues without any credible action from Pakistan against terror groups operating in that country.

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