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India denies funding Taliban

(October 30, Srinagar, Sri Lanka Guardian) Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday described as "far-fetched and far from the truth" Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik's charge that India was abetting violence in Balochistan and funding the Taliban.

At a press conference before winding up his two-day visit to Kashmir, he said: "I have said earlier that what was alleged about India's role in Balochistan has no basis and those who are levelling these false charges, they know it jolly well and the same applies to the latest statement of an important minister of Pakistan accusing India of financing the Taliban."

Confident that Jammu & Kashmir was "turning the corner" and entering "a new chapter" in the peace process, Singh hoped that the government's offer of dialogue would be reciprocated in the spirit it has been made.

Singh said he still hoped that "all those who have the good and well-being of the people of J&K in their hearts will respond favourably to my appeal".

At the same time, he slammed the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) for making adverse comments on Jammu & Kashmir and appointing a special representative and said India has protested against that.

On whether India was satisfied with Pakistan's steps on the Mumbai attacks, he said: "Obviously we are not satisfied. That goes without saying. We sincerely hope and believe that the government of Pakistan will take effective measures to bring to justice all the perpetrators of 26/11."

Singh's appeal for dialogue has been received well by the Hurriyat doves in Kashmir.
Singh had on Thursday hoped that his appeal for dialogue would be reciprocated in the spirit in which it was made.

"We support the dialogue process but it should be purposeful and productive. We do not want dialogue for pleasure. The PM has called for sincere dialogue, which carries weight," said professor Abdul Gani Bhat, officiating chairman of the Hurriyat Conference's moderate faction.

The Hurriyat hawks are not impressed with the PM's appeal.
-Sri Lanka Guardian

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