Congress says talks with Pakistan will progress only if it dismantles terror networks

Responding to calls to relook at negotiations with Pakistan after the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the Congress Party has said that it too favored negotiations only after Pakistan comes clean on support to anti-India terror groups.

“Support for negotiations is predicated on the fact that Pakistan stops support to terrorists and terror infrastructure,” Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said a few minutes ago, responding to calls by BJP to stop talks in view of Laden’s capture from Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden, head of al Qaida terror network, was shot dead by US forces in Pakistan, not far from a Military complex — leading to allegations that he was being sheltered in a ‘safe house’ by the Pakistani military itself.

Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had restarted talks with Pakistan to reduce hostilities after a gap of nearly three years. The talks were suspended after the October 2008 attack on Mumbai by Pakistani terror group.

Natarajan did not specify whether the government would terminate the ongoing talks with India’s north western neighbour, preferring to say that the talks will progress only if Pakistan dismantles its terror infrastructure.