Pak should ensure it doesn''t sponsor terrorism against India: Oz FM

Canberra (Australia), Feb. 28 : Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has called on Pakistan to make sure it doesn''t sponsor terrorism against India, to shut down Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist networks that operate in the country and make a better effort against the Taliban, besides improving security across the Pakistani-Afghan border.

Smith's statement has been widely welcomed.

According to an editorial in the Australian: " These are absolutely the right things for Smith to say and the right policies for Australia to pursue."

It further goes on to say that Kevin Rudd Government is now reprising the failed policies of the Howard Government towards Pakistan.

It says that Smith, who is just back from Pakistan, has made an important ministerial statement about Australian policy towards Islamabad.

"We are increasing virtually all forms of civil and even military aid. We are bringing more Pakistani officers to train, not least in counter-insurgency, in Australia," the editorial said.

When discussing the very vexed issue of nuclear proliferation, Smith makes this key judgment: "As on other difficult issues, close engagement with Pakistan on counter-proliferation is, in Australia''s view, the best way of making progress."

There Smith is expressing the Howard conundrum: if we don''t work with the Government of Pakistan, then who do we work with?

The Australian Government policy towards Pakistan is probably the only policy Canberra could pursue: engagement, assistance and blind hope. Almost certainly, however, it won''t work, concludes the editorial. (ANI)