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Indian PM says Pakistan must reject terror

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday that the world must press Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists who continue to target India.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday that the world must press Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists who continue to target India.

Singh, speaking on the eve of an elaborate White House state visit, also urged Pakistan to bring to justice those who planned the Mumbai terror attacks, which left 166 people dead a year ago.

Singh said it was the right decision to resist the "inordinate pressure" he faced to respond to the attack that shocked and angered India.

But Pakistan "should be pressurized by the world community to do much more to bring to book all those people who are responsible for this horrible crime," Singh said at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The trauma of the attack continues to haunt us."

He urged his neighbor to control the terror groups that he said have moved from the border region with Afghanistan into Pakistan's heartland. Failure to do so, Singh said, will result in serious consequences for the stability of both Pakistan and India.

The White House state visit Tuesday for Singh, the first in President Barack Obama's White House, is meant to show the U.S. administration's eagerness to win Indian cooperation on counterterror, trade and climate change initiatives.

India, however, has watched with wariness as Obama has lavished attention on rivals Pakistan and China.

More cooperation on energy security
In an attempt to ease another source of U.S.-Indian tension, Singh said that Indian and U.S. officials will sign a memorandum Tuesday intended to improve cooperation on energy security, clean energy and climate change. He did not provide details.

Developing and industrialized countries have bickered as they prepare to negotiate a new global climate change treaty, at a December summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, meant to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on carbon dioxide emissions.

Developing countries argue that rich countries produced most of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases on their march to development and should therefore bear the costs of fixing the problem. Wealthy nations say all countries, including growing polluters India and China, have to agree to broad cuts in emissions.

Singh said all countries must make an effort to make Copenhagen a success, despite difficult negotiations.

"We are determined to be part of the solution to the problem," he said.

India is willing to work on any solution that does not hurt developing countries' efforts to lift their populations out of poverty, Singh said.

Despite the positive tone of his comments Monday, Singh's visit comes at a delicate time. Indians are bristling over a perception that Obama neglected India during his recent trip to Asia and seemed to endorse a stronger role for China in India's sensitive dealings with Pakistan.

Tension affecting relations
The tension has disturbed a wave of good will between the countries orchestrated by former President George W. Bush, who oversaw the transformation of the relationship after decades of Cold War-era distrust. The new ties are symbolized by a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation accord signed into law last year after years of close communication among senior Indian and U.S. officials who negotiated and then sold the accord to lawmakers.

Obama and Singh are now consumed with steering their countries through tough economic times and with winning domestic political battles. That means less time spent nurturing a relationship that blossomed under Bush.

Because of the uncertainty, the leaders will be keen to show each other during Singh's visit that the partnership is still in good shape.

In his comments Monday, Singh also urged a return to India-Pakistan talks meant to settle disputes in Kashmir. India and Pakistan have fought two of three wars over control of Kashmir — a territory claimed by both in its entirety — since their independence from Britain in 1947.