‘Pakistan undecided about talks with India’

By Sarwar Kashani, IANS
Thursday, December 9, 2010

BRUSSELS - Pakistan is unclear about Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s visit to New Delhi despite an invitation from his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna for resuming the stalled subcontinetal talks, official sources said.

The sources said India has made it quite clear that Qureshi is welcome in New Delhi for resuming the talks that were frozen after the 28/11 Mumbai terror attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists.

We have made it quite clear that he (Qureshi) is welcome. The external affairs minister (Krishna) has invited him to come. We have also discussed (this) with them at various stages and made it quite clear that he is welcome to come and we are ready to resume the dialogue, the sources told IANS in the Belgian capital, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived Thursdy for an India-EU summit.

The sources, however maintained that India did expect some progress by Pakistan on the issues that worry us.

The issues, the sources said, are terrorism and on bringing the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack to justice.

India says that Islamabad has been dragging its feet on prosecuting the Pakistani handlers of the 10 terrorists who staged the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai mayhem that killed 166 people, including 26 foreigners.

Pakistan has arrested seven Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, including militant commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who allegedly masterminded the attack and guided the Mumbai gunmen through the three days of savagery.

Though there have been many attempts to restart the peace process, this has now gained the momentum even as Manmohan Singh met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Thimpu in April.

The two foreign ministers met in July but the talks failed again.

The sources said the India has been hearing two voices from the Pakistani side on Qureshi’s visit.

What we have heard is two kinds of statements. One saying ‘I will only come if there are good outcomes’… The other saying ‘Yes, we are ready to come’

One saying ‘Yes I will come in January, the other saying ‘No I will come in the latter part of the year’. Frankly, they have to make up their own minds. We don’t think that they are clear at all. When they are clear, we have said yes they are welcome, the sources said.

(Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at s.kashani@ians.in)

Filed under: Diplomacy

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