Persuade Pakistan to stop terrorism, PM urges Saudi

On Board Air India One, March 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said that he had asked Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz to use his good offices to persuade Pakistan to stop abetting terrorists on its soil.

‘I know Saudi Arabia has close relations with Pakistan,’ Manmohan Singh told media persons. He was speaking on board the special aircraft in which he and his delegation were returning to India after his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.

‘I did discuss Indo-Pakistan relations on a one-to-one basis with His Majesty (King Abdullah). I explained to him the role terrorism – aided, abetted and inspired by Pakistan is playing in our country,’ he said.

‘I did not ask him to do anything other than use his good offices to persuade Pakistan to desist from this path.’

The prime minister said despite Pakistan making promises that it would not allow its ground to be used for terrorist acts against India, progress on the ground has been rather nil.

‘I hope the world community gets the message that India is a victim of terrorism, that we have a situation where our neighbour has promised not to allow its territory to be used for perpetrating terrorist acts directed against India and yet on the ground progress has been rather nil,’ Manmohan said.

‘We are living today in an increasingly interdependent world and whosoever world leaders I meet I convey to them that all problems between India and Pakistan can be resolved through meaningful bilateral dialogue if only Pakistan would take a more reasonable attitude in dealing with those terrorist elements who target our country,’ he said.

His comments came after his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in Saudi capital Riyadh Sunday. The prime minister’s visit also saw the signing of an extradition treaty between India and Saudi Arabia.

Prior to his departure from Riyadh Monday, the prime minister, while addressing the Majlis Al-Shura, the Saudi legislature, had said that if Pakistan cooperated with India, there would be no problem that the two sides could not resolve ‘and we can walk an extra mile to open a new chapter in relations between our two countries’.

When pointed out that India’s growing ties with Saudi Arabia held a lot of symbolism vis-a-vis Pakistan, he said that the Saudi Arabian leadership had a better understanding of the predicament that India faced both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan.

‘There has been a great deal of sympathy and support (from the Saudi side) for India’s point of view for what we are asking for is very simple,’ Manmohan Singh said.

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