Krishna to meet Qureshi

 
Krishna will meet Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in the third week of this month.

Before they meet, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will go into a huddle with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in the same venue. Bashir had earlier invited Rao to travel to Islamabad for parleys, but New Delhi turned down the invitation.
New Delhi on Thursday made it clear that the foreign secretary-level talks and the meeting between the external affairs minister and the Pakistani foreign minister would not mark the resumption of the composite dialogue.

India and Pakistan had started a composite dialogue in February 2004. But India suspended the talks after 10 terrorists from Pakistan carried out the deadly attack in Mumbai on November 26 last year.

“Until the attacks in Mumbai, India was conducting the composite dialogue with utmost sincerity. But we cannot have terrorism and negotiations at the same time. Pakistan has to prove its credentials by implementing its assurances (of bringing to justice the 26/11 masterminds and combating terror),” Krishna said.

The Indo-Pak joint statement issued after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Egyptian city of Sharm-El-Sheikh had de-linked composite dialogue from action on terror.

But the joint statement drew flak from within the ruling Congress-led UPA and the Opposition BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, as it was perceived as a climbdown from New Delhi’s earlier position that composite dialogue would not resume till Islamabad took concrete action against anti-India terrorists.

“It is in our vital interest to normalise our relations with Pakistan. However, we are at a stage where it is for Pakistan to determine the kind of relationship it wants to have with India,” said Krishna.

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