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Pak must act against terrorism, says PM

By The Assam Tribune

RIYADH, March 1 (IANS) - Pakistan needs to "act decisively against terrorism" if it seeks to benefit from trade and commerce with India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today.

"If there is cooperation between India and Pakistan, vast opportunities will open up for trade, travel and development that will create prosperity in both countries and in South Asia," he told the Majlis-ash-Shura, the Saudi Parliament.

But for this, he said, Pakistan needs to "act decisively against terrorism". He added that India's desire for cooperative relations with Pakistan was aimed at seeking permanent peace in South Asia.

Manmohan Singh said the challenge of terrorism was immense in Afghanistan, where a Taliban suicide attack Friday in Kabul left 17 people dead, including nine Indians.

"The people of Afghanistan have suffered for far too long. They deserve an atmosphere of peace and the opportunity to pursue a life of dignity and hope," he said.

Manmohan Singh said the international community should support all sections of Afghan society and work towards the emergence of Afghanistan as a modern, stable and sovereign nation.

Stating that in today's world the interest of people and countries are intertwined, Singh said: "India wishes to live in peace and friendship with its neighbours."

"As two countries representing old civilisations, India and Saudi Arabia should work together to promote dialogue and peaceful co-existence among nations, religions and society."

Singh's visit to Saudi Arabia was the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 28 years after the visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1982 and third since India's independence. Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited the Gulf nation in 1956.

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