Krishna advises PM against visiting Pak

Islamabad yet to initiate actions on terror attacks

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is understood to have advised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against visiting Pakistan now as the situation in the neighbouring country is not conducive to such an exercise.

Krishna met the prime minister on Tuesday and apprised him “of the situation” in Pakistan.

The minister told Singh that Islamabad was yet to initiate concrete actions in bringing to justice perpetrators of the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai.

The government led by the Pakistan People’s Party is keen to host Singh in November and has been pressing the Indian establishment for its green signal for the prime minister’s visit.

During his three-day visit to the country, Krishna in his joint press conference with his conterpart Hina Rabbani Khar had promised that he would give his assessment to the prime minister once he returned to New Delhi. Krishna’s remark came in response to a question on the prime minister’s visit.

Krishna’s assessment to Singh was that Paksitan had been clearly and sternly told that it had to show tangible actions in dealing with the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage. The minister pointed out that it would not be worthwhile for the prime minister to undertake the visit in the absence of these concrete steps. Also, the prime minister should not undertake the visit on mere assurances, if Islamabad makes any. Also, the visit should have a proper outcome in terms of bilateral relations.

Krishna pointed out that he had informed the Pakistani side all these viewpoints of New Delhi during the bilateral dialogue. While Pakistan was not keen to raise the issue of 26/11, the Indian side, during the talks, insisted that it should be part of the joint statement issued at the end of the dialogue.

 Following this, the statement said: “The ministers noted the commitment given by Pakistan during the interior/home secretary talks in May 2012 to bring all the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack to justice expeditiously in accordance with due process of law.” Krishna told Singh that he had informed Punjab (Pakistan) Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that his government was not taking any action against those behind an anti-India campaign in Lahore.

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab.
Shahbaz Sharif had assured Krishna of action against the campaign.
The minister spoke of the positive reaction from the Pak government and society over the goodwill that the signing of the new liberalised visa regime and the confidence-building measures across the Line of Control in travel and trade had evoked.

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