Time to act against terror: Krishna to Pak

Time to act against terror: Krishna to Pak

14 July 2010
The Daily Excelsior


ISLAMABAD: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna arrived here today with a candid message to Pakistan that time has come for it to act against those involved in terror against India, particularly on the basis of revelations of Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley. Ahead of tomorrow’s talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, soft-spoken Krishna minced no words about India’s expectations of 'some movement' from Islamabad on the issue of terrorism emanating from Pakistan. 'I think time has come when such overwhelming evidence of irrefutable nature, if presented to any Government, that Government will have to act,' he told reporters shortly before an informal dinner meeting with Qureshi. Refusing to pre-Judge the outcome of his parleys, Krishna said that he would talk to Qureshi about 'various concerns based on Headley’s revelations' and other evidence gathered by India itself over a period of time. Pakistan, he emphasised, cannot find fault with the interrogation of Headley as it was also done by the US’ FBI. Krishna’s focus on Headley assumes significance in the backdrop of comments attributed to Indian Home Secretary G K Pillai that evidence based on his interrogation showed that ISI and Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Hafiz Saeed played 'a much more significant role' in Mumbai terror attacks than was thought earlier. The External Affairs Minister also made it clear that anti-India tirade by Saeed and other jihadi leaders would not 'smoothen' Indo-Pak ties. Saeed has been consistently making speeches to provoke the people of Pakistan against India, he said. Answering a question on Qureshi’s remark that he would raise the issue of alleged human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir, Krishna said that it was an internal issue and 'we don’t have to answer any other country'. During his three-day visit, Krishna will hold talks with Qureshi and will try to find areas of convergence between the two countries, besides focusing on Confidence Building Measures in the areas of people-to-people contact, exchange of prisoners and bilateral trade. 'We hope to discuss all issues of mutual interest and concern that can contribute to restoring trust and bringing confidence in our bilateral relationship,' Krishna told reporters upon his arrival here. 'I also look forward to receiving feedback on the issues raised by our Home Minister (P Chidambaram) during his visit to Pakistan last month on our core concern of terrorism, particularly in the light of the discussions our Home Minister had in Pakistan in the context of interrogation of David Headley regarding the Mumbai terrorist attack,' he said. Describing his visit as an important one, Krishna said he hoped it would usher in 'a new journey in our efforts to build a peaceful, friendly and cooperative relationship between our two countries.' India is committed to resolving all issues with Pakistan through peaceful dialogue based on mutual trust and confidence, Krishna said. 'I am carrying with me a message of peace and friendship from the people of India and we hope to undertake this voyage of peace, however long and arduous, jointly with the Government and people of Pakistan,' he said. Krishna said he also looked forward to meeting Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani tomorrow. During his visit here, the effort by the Indian side would be to work out the modalities of restoring trust and confidence in the relationship, thus paving the way for a substantive dialogue on issues of mutual concern. The two Foreign Ministers have been tasked by their Prime Ministers, who met in Thimpu in April, to bridge the trust deficit and increase confidence in the relationship. The visit takes place in the backdrop of weeks of violence in Kashmir valley, in which the Indian establishment sees involvement of elements from across the Line of Control. In fact, some see a link between Krishna’s visit and timing of the violence. However, Qureshi has said that he will raise with Krishna the issue of alleged human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. Although tomorrow’s talks are not being described as Composite Dialogue, India will not shy away from discussing any issue concerning the bilateral ties. Afghanistan may be another important subject for discussion between Krishna and Qureshi. India has pumped in over USD one billion in assistance to the war-torn country and is unwilling to cede any strategic space to Pakistan. (PTI)


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