Text of India-Pakistan joint statement in Sharm-el-Sheikh between Manmohan Singh and Pakistan PM Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on July 16, 2009
Posted by jagoindia on July 18, 2009
The document is viewed in favour of Pakistan and significant climbdown by India for several important issues:
* Action on terrorism was not linked to composite dialogue. A major policy change from the previous no action, no talk stand of the Indian government. If there is another Mumbai style terror attack, India has to continue its dialogue with Pakistan! There is no reason for Pakistan to end terror now.
* First bilateral document to mention Baluchistan. This will work against India’s interest Balochistan bungle may prove costly
* Kashmir not mentioned in joint statement. Where is Kashmir, ask Pakistani media
* The document also indicates that for the first time India agrees that terrorism was a threat to both countries. (When in reality terrorism originates from Pakistan)
Text of India-Pakistan joint statement
IANS 16 July 2009,
SHARM-EL-SHEIKH: The following is the joint statement issued after talks between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan here on Thursday:
The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, met in Sharm-el-Sheikh on July 16, 2009.
The two Prime Ministers had a cordial and constructive meeting. They considered the entire gamut of bilateral relations with a view to charting the way forward in India-Pakistan relations. Both leaders agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries. Both leaders affirmed their resolve to fight terrorism and to cooperate with each other to this end.
Prime Minister Singh reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice. Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan will do everything in its power in this regard. He said that Pakistan had provided an updated status dossier on the investigations of the Mumbai attacks and had sought additional information/evidence. Prime Minister Singh said that the dossier is being reviewed.
Both leaders agreed that the two countries will share real time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats.
Prime Minister Gilani mentioned that Pakistan has some information on threats in Baluchistan and other areas.
Both Prime Ministers recognised that dialogue is the only way forward. Action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and these should not be bracketed. Prime Minister Singh said that India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues.
Prime Minister Singh reiterated India’s interest in a stable, democratic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Both leaders agreed that the real challenge is development and the elimination of poverty.
Both leaders are resolved to eliminate those factors which prevent our countries from realizing their full potential. Both agreed to work to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence.
Both leaders reaffirmed their intention to promote regional cooperation.
Both foreign secretaries should meet as often as necessary and report to the two foreign ministers who will be meeting on the sidelines of the forthcoming UN General Assembly. End
Rising disquiet in Congress over PM’s Pak line
TNN 18 July 2009, 01:28am IST
NEW DELHI: Faced with deep disquiet within Congress and protests from the Opposition over the “concessions” he is widely seen to have made to
Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed here on Friday that India’s stand on terrorism had not been compromised by the controversial joint statement he signed on to on Thursday at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
“It does not mean any dilution of our stand. It only strengthens our stand,” Singh said in Rajya Sabha. The assertion, however, failed to satisfy either Congress or the Opposition. “There are clear contradictions between what was released from Sharm el-Sheikh and what we heard in the two Houses,” said a senior Congress leader just after the PM made his statement in Parliament.
In the Lok Sabha, BJP rejected Singh’s explanation as “unsatisfactory” before staging a walkout.
Singh’s defence of the joint statement came against the backdrop of strong murmurs of resentment in Congress. Party circles feel that the Sharm el-Sheikh document leaves room for suspicion that the Indian delegation relaxed its condition not to resume the composite dialogue with Pakistan till the latter met its condition to bring the 26/11 perpetrators to justice and take credible and sustained measures to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan.
Sources in Congress were also upset with the mention of Balochistan in the joint statement, saying this was fraught with the risk of giving Pakistan room to fling the terror charge back at India at a time of its choosing. Significantly, PM skirted what party circles are calling the ‘Balochistan bungle’.
His senior colleagues in Congress also feel that the joint statement was out of tune with the reality of Pakistan’s recalcitrance over the 26/11 probe and its continuing support to terrorists — something confirmed by home minister P Chidambaram in an interview to Times Now channel.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Singh countered the argument that the joint statement had uncoupled the issue of revival of composite dialogue with India’s insistence that Pakistan deliver on its litany of promises to take action against terrorists using its territory to launch strikes against India. PM argued, “It only strengthens our stand that we would like Pakistan not to wait for resumption of the composite dialogue as and when it takes place. But take action against terrorist elements regardless of these processes that may lead to the resumption of the dialogue.”
In his statement in the two Houses as well as replies to queries from Arun Jaitley and Sitaram Yechury in the Rajya Sabha, the PM stressed that in his talks with his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani, he stuck to India’s bottomline that “sustained, effective and credible action needs to be taken not only to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice, but also to shut down the operations of terrorist groups so as to prevent any future attacks”.
He also denied that India had made any commitment to return to the table for composite dialogue irrespective of what Pakistan does vis-i-vis its concerns about terrorism. “Whether, when and in what form we broaden the dialogue with Pakistan will depend on future developments. For the present, we have agreed that the foreign secretaries will meet as often as necessary and report to the two foreign ministers who will meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly,” he said, suggesting that India reserves the option of not starting the dialogue if Pakistan does not comply with its wishlist.
The anxiety to dispel the perception of concession was clear when the PM made a reference to the commitment made by Pakistan on January 6, 2004 not to let terrorists use its territory as the base for attacks on India. The omission of the 2004 pledge from the joint statement issued on Thursday is one of the reasons why it has drawn flak.
To many, the PM seemed to be making amends when he emphasised, “It has been and remains our consistent position that the starting point of any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan is a fulfilment of their commitment, in letter and spirit, not to allow their territory to be used in any manner for terrorist activities against India.”
The contrast between the tough tone Singh used and the text of Sharm el-Sheikh was highlighted by Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. “The explanation which the prime minister has given seems directly in odds to what is in the declaration. The two seems patently inconsistent with each other,” Jaitley said. He also argued that it was the joint statement and not statements made in the country which will be taken as reflecting India’s stand.
CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, who supported the PM’s intent to improve ties with Pakistan, supported Jaitley’s contention about inconsistency. Comparing prime minister’s statement in the House with the joint statement, Yechury said the two appeared to be in conflict.
For once, Congress leaders seemed to share the Opposition’s perception. They also feel that the government failed to capitalise on Pakistan’s dire need for early resumption of the stalled composite dialogue. “The very debate as to who has gained should not have been there had we played our cards well,” said a senior leader who added that the party was wary of how the PM and his team negotiates on the sensitive issues of WTO and climate change.