New Delhi, June 9: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India was open to talks with Pakistan, but for it to begin, the neighbour would have to act against terrorism.
Pakistan is our neighbour. We have to live with our neighbours, he said in the Rajya Sabha, adding that the path of dialogue has to be pursued.
Singh said he did not agree with the BJPs Arun Shourie, who had yesterday told the House he had warned against India giving evidence on the Mumbai attacks to Islamabad as the neighbour would not do anything about it.
The Prime Minister referred to the US-Iran relationship over the past 30 years, hinting that the mighty US too had started looking at the dialogue option. What is at stake is the future of one-and-a-half billion people living in South Asia, Singh said.
There are some disturbing trends, but I do hope that the government of Pakistan will create an atmosphere in which we can realise this vision, Singh added. I expect the government of Pakistan to take strong, and sustained action to prevent the use of their territory for the commission of acts of terrorism in India, or against Indian interests
. I believe that such actions will be welcomed by the people of both countries.
Singh said that if the leaders of Pakistan have the courage, the determination and the statesmanship to take this road to peace, I wish to assure them that we will meet them more than half way.