Amritsar, May 11 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Monday said his government has started talks with Pakistan on the issue of imposition of the religious tax 'Jazia' on minorities in that country's tribal areas.
Addressing a rally here, Dr. Singh said, "We have started talks with Pakistan. We will take appropriate and necessary steps on the issue of imposition of Jazia in Pakistan on minorities."
Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs had summoned a Pakistan diplomat to express its unhappiness over the issue.
Indian High Commission in Islamabad also conveyed similar views to Pakistan Foreign Office.
Noting that the situation across the border is not good, Dr. Singh said: "We will at no cost bear anything against us. India wanted friendly and cordial relations with its neighbouring countries."
Thousands of people, including many from the Sikh community, have fled Pakistan's Swat Valley while the government troops are engaged in a battle with Taliban fighters after a February peace pact to end violence in the valley collapsed.
Indian Sikhs say the government in Pakistan was doing little to protect the lives of Sikhs.
Speaking on the issue of price rise, he said, "The Congress has got the experience to handle such situations."
"The Centre will find out new means for the benefit of farmers, labourers and industry and stressed that during the period of economic recession it is only the Congress which can show the right path to the country," he added.
Underlining several programmes for employment, he said, "Our government is capable of facing the problem of unemployment. The Centre had started many new projects for the generation of employment."
Further highlighting the UPA Government's achievements, Dr Singh said the Government raised the budget allocation for education.
"An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was approved for Punjab in Ropar which is linked with IIT Delhi. Two new universities have also been sanctioned for Amritsar and Bathinda," he added.
He said the Centre has disbursed a grant of Rs 100 crore for the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). (ANI)