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India says time not ripe yet for composite dialogue

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Turning down Pakistan’s renewed call for resumption of the ‘composite dialogue’, India thursday opted for a ‘graduated step-by-step approach’ and gave islamabad three additional dossiers linking terror activities to elements in that country.

‘The time is not yet ripe to resume the composite dialogue unless we build a climate of trust,’ Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters after the much-awaited talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir at the Hyderabad House here.

‘In line with the graduated and step-by-step approach our aims were modest; we had a useful discussion during which I spelt out forthrightly our concerns on terrorism emanating from Pakistan against India,’ Rao said given her account of the over 150 minutes of talks that marked the resumption of the structured bilateral dialogue after 14 months.

Of this, the two foreign secretaries met alone for 90 minutes.

Rao later said trust-building was key to keeping the talks channels with Pakistan on.

‘We have set out to take a first step towards rebuilding trust. And I believe my meeting with Pakistan foreign secretary has constituted that first step. We have agreed to remain in touch and continue to endeavour to restore trust.’

Rao said three dossiers have been handed over to the Pakistani delegation asking it to take action against terrorists on its soil.

‘We gave three dossiers… We gave them information on some indviduals associated with the Mumbai terror attack. We gave them another dossier on threats issued by (Al Qaeda leader) Illyas Kashmiri and thirdly we gave them the dossier about fugitives from Indian law who are in Pakistan,’ Rao said.

Kashmiri had warned international sports persons against travelling to India for participating in global sporting events, including the Hockey World Cup, Indian Premier League and the Commonwealth Games.

Rao said the list of fugitives wanted by India had names ‘already in Pakistan’s know and a few new names we have put together and coneveyed to them’.

She said India also stressed on acting against Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed, who is acccused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attack.

‘As far as Hafiz Saeed is concerned, we have again reiterated the need for (acting against) persons like Hafiz Saeed who have advocated a very violent agenda against India,’ she said.

Saeed had recently threatened to launch a jehad against India if Kashmiris were not given their right to self determination. The militant leader had addressed anti-India jehadi rallies organised by Lashkar-e-Taiba’s frontal group Jamaat ud Daawa and other militant groups in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The rallies were held to mark Kashmir solidarity day Feb 5, the day when India invited Pakistan for the foreign secretary level talks.

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