Talks with Pak next year: SMK

Addressing journalists here on Friday, S M Krishna said he had extended an invitation to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mohammad Qureshi when they met in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting recently.

Krishna said he was prepared to hold talks with the Pakistani minister in New York but the latter was not willing. “We were ready to meet and had made all preparations. But things did not happen. I was hoping for a word from Pakistan.

“So, I invited Qureshi to come over to India for talks. He accepted and wanted to come in December but since we have a packed diplomatic calendar in the next two months, I suggested the first quarter of 2011. I look forward to his visit.”

On his talks with Qureshi in Islamabad in August, which began promisingly but ended disastrously as Pakistan made a series of charges against India, Krishna said they were fruitful and satisfactory.

 “We were able to arrive at a common approach on a number of issues but the problems that confront India and Pakistan are so basic that in five hours you cannot arrive at a settlement. I said whatever was agreed upon should be announced but Pakistan didn’t agree.

“We like cordial relations with Pakistan. We have made every effort at every stage to be a good neighbour with Pakistan. We expect reciprocity from Pakistan,” Krishna said in response to a question.

On Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s statement that his state was acceded to India and not merged, Krishna said there was nothing objectionable in it.
“J&K was acceded to India just like Mysore was acceded by the then Maharaja of Mysore. I am from that region. (As regards Pakistan, J&K, by virtue of accession, is an integral part of India. It is no strain on relationship. I have conveyed to them, Pakistan, India’s perspective).”

He said India and China have good working relations. “We expect from China that they should be sensitive to our core concerns; that’s how relationships are built, nurtured and sustained, be it Arunachal Pradesh or any other issue. They also say that. To the extent possible without compromising our stand, we can incorporate their concerns.

“We have told them about our objection to stapled visa, Arunachal Pradesh, etc. China has always maintained neutrality as far as J&K was concerned,” he said.

Asked whether the growing Chinese assertiveness would also figure in the talks between India and the US when President Barack Obama visits India, Krishna said it would be one of the issues as China is “an important factor” in the global matters.
“We will exchange notes on China to see what is their (US) approach and what is our approach (on China),” he said.

Revise concepts on UNSC: Krishna
Pressing for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Friday said there were “obstacles” and “road-blocks” in this and asked the five permanent members to “revise” their concepts on basic reforms of the world body to reflect current global realities, PTI reports from New Delhi.

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