On the eve of Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf’s day-long private visit to Jaipur and Ajmer, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said there cannot be normalisation of ties unless the neighbouring country brings under control the “terror machine” still active there.
Singh said India has made sincere efforts to normalise relations with Pakistan and had achieved “some progress”.
“People-to-people contacts have gone up, trade relations have shown improvement,” Singh said in the Rajya Sabha, replying to a debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address.
“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,” the Prime Minister said.
He said this has been his government’s policy for the past nine years and would continue in the coming times.
With the UNHRC expected to debate the resolution on Sri Lanka later this month, Singh said political reconciliation is a must for calm in that country and said India would strive to ensure dignity and self-respect for the ethnic Tamils.
“It will be our effort to work with the government of Sri Lanka to ensure that the Tamil population in Sri Lanka is given a chance to lead a life of dignity and self-respect as equal citizens of that country,” he said.
“There are problems in Sri Lanka. We have been worried about the fate of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.... without national reconciliation, the situation cannot remain calm. The Sri Lanka government must, therefore, take the initiative to talk to the Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka,” he said.