Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said there cannot be normalisation of ties with Pakistan unless the “terror machine is still active” in that country is brought under control.
In his reply in the Rajya Sabha to the discussion on the motion of thanks to the president’s address, the prime minister said, “People-to-people contacts have gone up, trade relations have shown improvement... but there cannot be normalisation of relations between our two countries unless and until the terror machine which is still active in Pakistan is brought under control.” He added, “This has been our policy during the nine years we have been in office. It is the same approach which can guide us in dealing with Pakistan in years to come.”
His comments come a day ahead of the private visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf to Ajmer. Singh said India has made sincere efforts to normalise its relations with Pakistan and had achieved some progress. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is to host a lunch in his honour at Jaipur, but no “substantive talks” are to be held. Ashraf’s visit comes at a time when there is a chill in ties over the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control in Kashmir.