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India Ready to Give Pakistan ‘Benefit of the Doubt’

by AFP
Ishara S. Kodikara—AFP

Ishara S. Kodikara—AFP

Indian foreign minister says New Delhi willing to give Islamabad time to prove its sincerity.

New Delhi is prepared to give Islamabad “the benefit of the doubt” as the two sides strive for peace, Salman Khurshid, the Indian foreign minister, told The Australian. “We talk to Pakistan periodically, and in terms of personal gestures, we receive great warmth. But the on-the-ground reality and the results of our meetings are very disappointing,” he said.

“Pakistan has a lot of very, very difficult issues to deal with at home,” Khurshid said. “Our view is that we should give them time, not at our cost, of course, but that we should give them the benefit of the doubt. When [Prime Minister] Nawaz Sharif says he wants peace and good relations with India, we take him at his word.”

Sharif vowed last month to go the “extra mile” to make peace with India.

Since January, skirmishes have erupted along the Line of Control dividing Kashmir into Pakistan- and India-administered parts—ending a ceasefire that lasted a decade. Islamabad, Khurshid noted, has not been able to make good on its promise of top-level military meetings to sort out better arrangements in Kashmir. “If they can address the dismantling of the infrastructure of terrorism, that would be a good start,” Khurshid said.

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