Talks with Pak to focus on terror, says India

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Sunday told the Speaker of Iranian Parliament Ali Ardashir Larijani that terrorism continued to be the ‘main concern’ of New Delhi even as he looked forward to meeting his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad in July.

Krishna’s remarks came close on the heels of media-reports on regrouping of Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and their preparation to cross the Line of Control. 

Larijani, a highly influential leader of Iran, stated that Tehran shared New Delhi’s views on terrorism. “Terrorism is a common challenge for mankind,” he told Krishna. Iran has also been a victim of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

On October 18 last year, at least 41 people, including top commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps of Iran, had been killed in an explosion during a unity conference between Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in the country’s south-eastern city of Pishin. After Jundullah, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the blast, Tehran had called upon Islamabad to help track down culprits responsible for the attack and to bring them to justice.

External Affairs Minister told Larijani, former secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s talks with his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on the sideline of the SAARC summit in Thimphu last month.

Singh-Gilani meet in Bhutanese capital on April 29 last had signalled a thaw in the bilateral relation and put the dialogue between the two neighbours back on track after the one-and-a-half-year long diplomatic chill following 26/11.

The two Prime Ministers had asked the Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries to meet as soon as possible to “to take the process forward”.  Krishna called up Qureshi on May 11 and accepted the latter’s invitation to travel to Islamabad for talks on July 15.

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