India, Pak Foreign Ministers spar over Mumbai probe

Last Updated 29 January 2010, 08:20 IST

"I have had a meeting with S M Krishna in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (in September 2009). I gave him a very crisp proposal, a roadmap for the future. He said he will get back to me but he has not got back to me. That means he has nothing to offer," Qureshi said.

"It seems that the Indian polity is divided, India is confused," he told reporters here on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan.

Coming face-to-face at the meet hosted by British Premier Gordon Brown, Krishna and Qureshi yesterday shook hands and exchanged pleasantries but did not have a separate meeting.

"India does not know whether it should engage or it should shy away," Qureshi said. "Unfortunately there is a dichotomy here. What's going on right now is, the public stance of the Indian foreign office is different. On another hand, the private stance is different.

"The private stance is that Pakistan's cooperation has been unprecedented. They acknowledge the exchange of dossiers, the exchange of information that we have had... There is a lack of political agreement in India on foreign policy (towards Pakistan)."
Responding to Qureshi's charges, Krishna said Pakistan should introspect before making such statements.

"People who are sitting in the epicentre of terror, I think they should look inwards and they should introspect," Krishna said.

"We met in New York and we had hoped that the investigations in Pakistan about the perpetrators of Mumbai attack would continue based on the dossier that we have provided to Pakistan. We have not heard about the outcome of those investigations that have taken place," he said.

On the issue of Afghanistan, the two Foreign Ministers differed on India's role in the war-torn country.

"Afghanistan is a sovereign country and they can have their relation. We don't have to tell them what to do and what not to do. But Afghanistan also realises that in the immediate future, countries that can be immediate assistance to Afghanistan are the immediate neighbours," Qureshi said.

In his remarks on the issue, Krishna asserted that "the welfare and well-being of Afghanistan is one of the top priorities of India's foreign policy." PTI MRD KIM AKJ KIM

(Published 29 January 2010, 07:38 IST)

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