Pak Seeks Clarification on Krishna Remarks

Reacting to External Affairs Minister SM Krishna’s reported remarks about next week’s foreign secretary level talks, Pakistan has asked India to clarify stand on the issue, said media reports.

Pakistan foreign ministry said in a statement that the outcome of the meeting should not be prejudged nor its scope circumscribed, said reports.

“We have noted with concern remarks attributed by the media to Indian External Affairs Minister on the forthcoming meeting of the Foreign Secretaries in New Delhi that these will be unifocal and that there would be no resumption of Composite Dialogue. This is contrary to our understanding,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit was quoted as saying in a statement issued late on Wednesday.

The minister also said that ‘a clarification is being sought on this account’, said reports.

The reaction from Islamabad came after Krishna made it clear that India did not favour resumption of the composite dialogue process with Pakistan till there is progress on Islamabad’s promises on anti-terror front, said reports.

“The composite dialogue has been suspended for very good reason, the issues raised after the Mumbai attacks still remain and need to be addressed with high degree of seriousness,” Krishna had told a TV news channel.

The minister also told the channel that New Delhi was not averse to talking issues with Islamabad provided terrorism remained the focal point of the deliberations.

India and Pakistan are scheduled to hold Foreign Secretary level talks on February 25 in New Delhi.

Krishna’s assertion on the way forward comes after the Union Cabinet made it clear that India will go ahead with the talks, despite the Pune blast, but also pointed out that the dialogue process would be conditional till there is concrete action against terrorism emanating from Pak soil.

(Based on internet reports)

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