SMK, Qureshi unlikely to hold talks in Afghanistan

SMK, Qureshi unlikely to hold talks in Afghanistan

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna himself indicated this on Monday, when he said: “I do not know whether time will permit me to talk to him (Pakistan Foreign Minister S M Qureshi).”

The US wants the two countries to meet and hold discussions. However, the Indian side is not interested in talks, following the undiplomatic personal remarks made by Qureshi after his meeting with Krishna in Islamabad on July 15.

However, it is likely that Krishna and Qureshi may exchange pleasantries when they run into each at the conference. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is among a host of leaders who reached Kabul on Monday.

Responding to a query over Qureshi’s remarks that he would not visit India for a “leisure trip” but only for “result-oriented talks”, Krishna said: “I did not go to Islamabad for sightseeing. No minister goes to another country for a walk, tour or sight-seeing. The ministers talk serious bilateral relationship. India has always approached bilateral talks with utmost seriousness”. On Qureshi’s charge that India was not prepared for talks, Krishna said one could not exhaust all issues in just one meeting. “Talks have to gradually move from one issue to the other,” the minister added.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a message to Krishna and urged him not to discontinue talks with his Pakistan counterpart. But sources here said after what happened during the talks in Islamabad on July 15 and subsequent remarks against him by Qureshi, the Indian minister was not willing to talk. The sources added that the future or road map of the talks will be decided “as we go along.”

Krishna and Clinton may have a bilateral meeting in Kabul on Tuesday.

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