Krishna refuses to get into war of words

Published: July 16, 2010
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Krishna rejected the charge that he received foreign policy directions from New Delhi repeatedly during their meeting. PHOTO: EPA

Krishna rejected the charge that he received foreign policy directions from New Delhi repeatedly during their meeting. PHOTO: EPA

Refusing to get into a war-of-words with his Pakistani counterpart, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Friday said that some headway has been made in the relationship between the two countries.

Krishna, speaking to the media on his return to New Delhi, rejected Pakistan’s claim that the Indian delegation was not prepared and did not have the mandate for meaningful talks. He said, “India was fully prepared, our mandate was very clear, there was no ambiguity, as External Affairs Minister of this country… leading the talks I have confided myself to the mandate given to me.”

Krishna also rejected the charge made by his Pakistani counterpart that he received foreign policy directions from New Delhi repeatedly during their meeting, he said, “I was totally cut off from India, I never used the telephone, it’s an extraordinary statement, that I have made calls to India.”

On Pakistan’s charge that India was shying away from a timeline for normalising the relationship, Krishna responded, “In diplomatic parleys we don’t go by a timeline unless it is absolutely necessary. No one could fix a timeline for the type of issues we discussed. The question of timeline was not possible or feasible.”

“With reference to 26/11, we did not insist on a timeline. We told that terror is the biggest obstacle between the two countries. Positive action has to be taken by the Pakistani leadership against the perpetrators of the act,” he added.

On a question as to whether the talks were successful, Krishna said, “The very fact that I went to Islamabad and I talked about the core issues involved, if you consider that as a gain then I am willing to go along with it.”

“We talked about the burning issues that confront us. All this was discussed in great detail. We contributed in manner that the trust deficit gets reduced,” he said.

Krishna said, ‘I am not going to score debating points over Qureshi. I would like to concentrate on serious issues. The fact of the matter is that we did discuss serious issues that confront both of us and I do believe that we did make some headway.”

“I have invited him to come to India and I am looking to resume the dialogue from where we left it yesterday,” he added.

‘lack of interest on India’s part’

Earlier Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi came out strongly against what he called ‘India’s lack of interest’. Qureshi said that Pakistan feels India is not prepared for peace talks yet.

Addressing the media in Islamabad on Friday, Qureshi expressed disappointment over the talks saying that India was selective in its talks. He said that talks can only move ahead if all issues are discussed, adding that the issue of Kashmir cannot be neglected.

Commenting on his talks with his Indian counterpart, Qureshi said he felt that Krishna was not mentally prepared for dialogue.  He added that the Indian Foreign minister repeatedly received directions from New Delhi, hinting that Krishna had not come with a complete mandate to represent New Delhi. He believed that the two sides should build on what they had achieved in the last few years.

Qureshi also said that if India is not ready for dialogue, Pakistan can wait till it is. But he added that under no circumstances will Pakistan reach a compromise on its interests.

Indian opposition calls meeting ‘talks for the sake of talks’

India’s main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanded the government pull out of faltering peace talks with Pakistan and said that a meeting between foreign ministers from the countries had achieved nothing. The BJP had been opposed to the new attempts at dialogue from the start and senior leaders called them “talks for the sake of talks.”

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 16, 2010 - 2:04PM

    The result of outcome of the meeting between Pakistan and India was conveyed on several occassions in my writeups even before the first Indian Official arrived in Islamabad last month.

    I am amazed that how US repeatedly asking Pakistan and India to holds talks directly when US know very well that nothing is going to be finalized in Pakistan-India talks.

    Pakistan has shown flexibility on every ocassion. I am recalling the moment when our ex-President General (R) Pervez Musharraf stood up from his seat in a meeting and went straight to shake hand with the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh.

    In simple words, the example of India is: it is country with flat face with no sentiments either for its own people, nor for the people who live across the border.

    I do not understand why Times of India and Jang Group of Newspapers every now and then are talking about “Aman Ki Asha” when every one knows from the very begning that such “Asha” does not exist in India.

    One can only clap with both hands. It is unfortunate that nature has only given one hand to India and that too not for the purpose of shaking friendly hand, but to fight with Pakistan and with other neighbours.

    I am of the opinion that the invitation extended by the Indian government to our Foreign Minister should be turned down.

    There should be no more meetings. It is a sheer waste of time and money.

    Despite all this, I am expecting a statement from the State Department of US calling the Pakistan-India meeting another milestone in the history of Sub-Continent.

    Thank you Pakistan for showing the traditional hospitilaty on the sequence visits of Pakistan’s worst enemy.

    Thank you people of Pakistan for being so patient. Many of the my countrymen including me are of the opinion that India has not as yet accepted from the core of her heart that Pakistan came into existence on August 14, 1947.

    India does not accept Pakistan as its next door neighbour. We are dealing with a flat face country – unfortunately.Recommend

  • Sleepless in Karachi
    Jul 16, 2010 - 2:19PM

    Yawn…Recommend

  • Jul 16, 2010 - 2:22PM

    This was obvious.India only wants to discuss 26/11.Which is not possible. Recommend

  • KM
    Jul 16, 2010 - 3:27PM

    For the first time it sounds like the FM truly of Pakistan … It took them (our government) so much time to realize the reality, and as usual they are begging and pleading all along. Tell them to buzz off, if they werent ready for talks, and Pakistan should now slogan “Make up minds and tell us once n for all, if India is genuine at all or not”, so that our government gets to work on other important issues.Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Jul 16, 2010 - 4:00PM

    This task seems beyond the insight, capability and vision of mere mortals.

    As a minimum, they could have avoided bickering in public, engaged more substantively on a broad agenda and at least come up with one concrete agreement that would help bring people closer or at least give a positive signal of momentum. Defeating terrorism cannot be done in the halls of mandarins and politicians. It requires the people to engage. Some agreement on enhancing people contact was vital.

    Pakistan is suffering from cataclysmic terrorism, our country’s leadership mostly failing to deal with the monster in it’s own house (let alone India’s) – and India’s approach is let’s talk about Pakistan’s failure to deal with India directed terrorism and well, just that.

    Disgusting. Own goal upon own goal.Recommend

  • waqar
    Jul 16, 2010 - 5:05PM

    it is not Ist time that India show his real role of talks.India wnated talks only on “Pakistan should considered him as big nation.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 16, 2010 - 6:30PM

    I think these talks were forced by the US… Khair i’m glad Pakistani ministers now know the reality… Leave talking with India for a while, we have too many of our own issues to deal with. Though it is a shame they were not more civil and some sort of positive however small didn’t come out of these talks. Only once both parties are properly ready should we talk, it also seems like theres too many egos involved… if nothing came of it at least they (both indians and pakistanis)didnt have to do tu tu mein mein to the whole world!

    chalo!Recommend

  • Ammar
    Jul 16, 2010 - 9:39PM

    @ KM
    Do you suggest that Qureshi should jump the gun to make you realize that he is a Pakistani FM:) As far as normalisation of Indo-Pak relations are concerned, it is need of the hour. If both FMs are hopeful for futre, then let this trust deficite be minimized their way. Qureshi is a very able diplomate and so is Krishna. I am very hopeful for the future.Recommend

  • Asif Khan
    Jul 17, 2010 - 1:56AM

    I think now this government should also understand what is the real fact, which I hope they understand but real understanding of our government will come to us after little later with their statements and actions. All these talks game is Indian tactics to engage us and in my view they are doing this on US instructions.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Jul 17, 2010 - 7:34AM

    The wishes and comments of noble citizens of Pakistan are well taken and appreciated in India. On the other hand the normal citizenry and youth of present India are disinterested all together in Pakistan or its internal affairs. Each incidence of terrorism or disturbance in Kashmir agitates them and develops a feeling for Pakistan and that is ‘Shut it and forget it’. The desire of present educated youth of India is to work hard, earn more, eat, drink and be happy in life. The educated and enlightened youth of India, irrespective of their religious belief, consider India’s indulgence with Pakistan as wastage of time. What they need from Govt. of India is protection from terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil, curtail infiltration of Jihadi elements and check home grown religious fanaticism, separatism, bandhs, strikes and civil commotions etc.
    History suggests that progress in peace is stalled every time by inflicting terror or aggression by some actors of Pakistan side. It may be Kargil adventure, Mumbai carnage or infiltration across the boundaries. It is emphasized that jingoism, patriotism, gestures, overtures have no meaning in international relations and better not to be talked or commented. One thing is to be realized that no one can make India talk by putting gun on its head. Either by himself or by its state, non-state, in-state, out-state, over-state actors, establishments, enterprises etc. I would like to emphasize that Pakistan’s terrorism is its own creation whereas Mumbai carnage and infiltration is inflicted by Pakistan on India which is the major cause of trust deficit; all of you may agree or disagree? The psyche or adventurisms of successive rulers of Pakistan have deteriorated the international relations to the present extent. Please realize that vow of giving thousand cuts to India is resulting in numerous cuts to Pakistan itself and please think that are we both gaining anything out of it?
    In the process of our history, please introspect that even the pride of a strong Pakistan is not shaken? A country which was comparable to India at partition, having more fertile land, better industrial towns, more natural resources and higher per capita income, is going down in jingoism and antagonism? Brothers …….. please realize that Pakistan which boast of being a Muslim nation, rather than being a guiding light of Islam and its propagator, is now tarnishing its image by radicalization. By terrorism, are we not denigrating the teachings of tolerance in Islam? Are you not feeling hurt when beautiful and largest religion known as Islam is dragged in terrorism? In my opinion a true Muslim should be first and foremost to support eradication of the menace of terrorism and bring its perpetrators to justice, isn’t it? How one can build trust with a nation having gun tottering terrorist on its back to support it in international negotiations? Recommend

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