In a bid to sell the ongoing Pakistan-India dialogue to the Indian parliament, Foreign Minister SM Krishna told fellow lawmakers that visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had been informed how unhappy India was at her meeting with leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) during her recent visit, before the bilateral meetings took place.
India also asked Pakistan to act on the dossiers regarding seven individuals suspected of being involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the need to provide voice samples, he said.
“Pakistan was asked to investigate the links with some elements in the Pakistani security agencies that had emerged from the evidence presented in the Tahawwur Rana trial in the United States,” Krishna told the Indian lawmakers.
“I called for credible and effective action against jihadi leaders such as Hafiz Saeed and terrorist groups such as Jamaat-ud-Daawa and Lashkar-e-Taiba,” he added.
At the beginning of every session of parliament, it is obligatory for the foreign minister to brief the legislators about the visits of important dignitaries in the inter session period.
Krishna told the lawmakers that the dialogue with Pakistan was moving forward briskly after the meeting of the two foreign secretaries in February 2011 in Thimphu, Bhutan.
India wants to reduce the trust deficit with Pakistan and move forward in a friendly manner, Krishna said. “I conveyed [to Pakistan] that India desires a stable and prosperous Pakistan, acting as a bulwark against terrorism, at peace with itself and with its neighbours,” he added.
Krishna’s statement will be considered the authoritative account of the meeting of the two ministers and will put parliament’s stamp on the resumed dialogue.
Appeasing the hawks
To appease the hawks in the house, Krishna said that he had asked Pakistan about the fulfillment of the commitments made during the home/interior secretary level talks in March 2011 on the trial and investigation, going on in Pakistan, in the Mumbai attacks case.
“According to her, Pakistan was not trying to abdicate responsibility,” Krishna said.
“On her meeting with the Hurriyat leaders, she informed me that Pakistan wanted to engage all stakeholders,” Krishna told the MPs.
On Jammu and Kashmir, the approach is to increase convergence and reduce divergence, Krishna said. He added that it was a matter of satisfaction for India that Pakistan had acknowledged the need to grant the most-favoured nation (MFN) status to India which would also help expand bilateral trade relations.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2011.