Page last updated at 04:52 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

Indian PM in Pakistan ties plea

Manmohan Singh in Kashmir
Mr Singh's visit to Kashmir was marked by local protests

Indian PM Manmohan Singh says ties with Pakistan cannot be normalised until Islamabad stops militants based there from attacking India.

India blames elements in Pakistan for the recent Mumbai attacks, in which more than 170 people died.

Mr Singh said that India wanted to improve its relationship with Pakistan, and that differences over Kashmir could be resolved through negotiations.

He made the comments during a visit to Indian-administered Kashmir.

Addressing an election rally at Shangus on Sunday, Mr Singh said he had always been of the view that the two countries should forge better relations through understanding and mutual cooperation.

He said his government wanted to open more road links between the two parts of Kashmir, controlled by India and Pakistan.

But, he said, "this dream can be realised only when our neighbour brings the situation there under control".


Referring to the recent attacks in Mumbai, Mr Singh said: "It is obvious that there are people in Pakistan who are ready to carry out such bloody attacks on our country."

He said India would continue its fight against terrorism with full preparedness.

"But I want to say that our desire to normalise our relations with Pakistan cannot be fulfilled unless our neighbour stops allowing its soil to be used for acts of terror against our country," he said.

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says thousands of people turned up for Mr Singh's rally, held on open ground just outside an Indian army ammunition depot that caught fire a year ago causing widespread devastation in areas around it.

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