India Not Involved in Pak’s Internal Affairs: Chidambaram

Home Minister P Chidambaram has stressed that India has “nothing to do with Pakistan’s internal affairs.” The clarification comes in the midst of a controversy over the inclusion of Balochistan in the India-Pakistan joint statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani.

The joint statement was issued after the two leaders held talks at Sharm al-Sheikh in Egypt on July 16.

Minister Chidambaram in an interview to CNN-IBN said: “We have nothing to do with Pakistan’s internal problems, why should we get involved?”

He was replying to queries on New Delhi’s controversial move to allow the inclusion of Pakistan’s perceived “threats to Balochistan” in the joint statement.

Despite the fact that Islamabad, for decades now, has accused India for the internal trouble it faces in its southwestern province, the statement in Egypt was the first time that Balochistan was included.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took strong exception to the mention and criticized the government for “conceding” to Pakistan on the issue.

Premier Singh, however, defended the move saying that the joint statement merely took cognizance of what Pakistan said at the Egypt talks and stressed that India was ready to discuss the issue as its conduct was “an open book.”

Premier Singh’s stand on the issue was backed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at a party meeting on Friday evening, said media reports on Saturday.

(Internet inputs)

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