New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said Pakistan "needs to do much more" to address India's concerns over continuing cross-border terror before dialogue can resume between the two neighbours.
When asked about the recent spate of terrorist attacks, rockets attacks and repeated firing across the international border in Kashmir from the Pakistan side, Rao said that Pakistani groups are involved, possibly with support from the Pakistani authorities.
"Terrorism directed against India continues from territory under Pakistan control and from Pakistan," Rao told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN’s show Devil's Advocate.
"All the events you have seen over the last few days basically point to the basic and undeniable fact that the infrastructure of terrorism which operates out of Pakistan and territory under Pakistan control has not been dismantled...," she said.
"...and it continues to be directed against the Indian people. It affects ordinary people," she added.
"Look at what has been happening in Srinagar over the last few weeks. Look at the incidents of infiltration that have gone up despite the fact that this is cold weather," she said.
"In winter traditionally we have not had so many incidents of infiltration, but those continue. They clearly point to the continuation of efforts directed against our territory, directed in order to foment violence in Kashmir and terrorist incidents," Rao said.
She indicated that the recent attack at Lal Chowk in Srinagar and increased cross-border incursions are being directed with support from elements in Pakistan.
"Let me put it this way. I think the experience over the last two decades would make it very clear to us that this has been an instrument of state policy which has been pursued by agencies within Pakistan," she replied when asked about the involvement of Pakistani agencies in these attacks.
"We have very little or no evidence to suggest otherwise," she added.
Critical of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's assertion that his government is committed to fulfilling his father-in-law Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's pledge for a thousand-year war to "liberate" Kashmir, Rao said militancy and violence in Kashmir has been accompanied by rhetoric directed against India and all forms and means of propaganda that comes across from the Pakistan side.
"So, rhetoric, militancy and violence, together they make a very combustible combination," she said, adding that it poisons people's minds.
Asserting that India has never turned its back on dialogue, Rao said that terrorism affects the climate of dialogue and the progress of this dialogue. "And when Pakistan refers to the need to resume composite dialogue, we say you have to create the right atmosphere for that dialogue to move forward," she said.
"We wait and we hope Pakistan can do more," Rao replied when asked whether Pakistan is effectively responding to the terror India faces which emanates out of Pakistani soil.
Rao's comments come close on the heels of a telephonic conversation during which External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi to expedite probe into the Mumbai attacks and bring terrorists linked to the carnage to justice.
(Watch Devil’s Advocate on CNN-IBN at 8.30 pm on Sunday.)