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Qureshi to visit India only for ‘meaningful’ talks

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday upped the ante by saying he was unwilling to travel to New Delhi for talks unless India is prepared to hold a “meaningful, constructive and result-oriented” dialogue to resolve outstanding issues with Pakistan.

“I do not want to visit India for a leisure trip. I want to go for meaningful, constructive and result-oriented talks if the right atmosphere prevails and if they are fully prepared (for talks),” Qureshi said after addressing a joint news conference with visiting British Minister Sayeeda Warsi.

Mr Qureshi had created a stir on Friday by disclosing that someone from New Delhi was directing the Indian delegation over telephone. 48 hours after the Pakistan Foreign Minister made that explosive personal attack against SM Krishna, he has made another dramatic turnaround.

In an interview to The Dawn newspaper Qureshi said that it was not Krishna whom he was referring to but one of the Indian delegates who was receiving instructions from New Delhi.

He was responding to a question from reporters on whether he would travel to New Delhi for talks in view of Indian government’s current position. Following a meeting with Qureshi in Islamabad on Thursday, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had announced that he had invited his Pakistani counterpart to visit India for the next round of their parleys.

Qureshi reiterated his assertion that Krishna had come to Pakistan with a limited mandate. “At our talks, I said that they (Indian side) should raise terrorism if it was among their priorities because it is also our concern. You can raise (the) Mumbai (attacks) but we have our concerns,” Qureshi said.

Among Pakistan’s concerns is the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where curfew has been imposed and there are killings, he said.

Qureshi contended that India raised its concerns and “then became selective” in taking on Pakistan’s concerns. “If you (India) are answerable to your people on terrorism, we too are a democracy and have to satisfy our people,” he said.

Qureshi said he had not raised any issues with Krishna that were not part of the eight components of the composite dialogue. This was done because Pakistan does not want the four years of efforts made through the composite dialogue to go waste, he said.

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