India rules out third party intervention on Kashmir

"Everything that they want to discuss and everything we want to discuss with them will be discussed" during Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's possible visit to India for talks, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told PTI here.

He was reacting to questions on recent Pakistan Foreign Office statement that there can be no result-oriented discussions with India on Kashmir unless it stops treating it as its integral part and Qureshi's remarks seeking US intervention on the issue.Krishna, who is here for the UN General Assembly session, said he looked forward to hosting Qureshi in India.
"Well I was in Islamabad and we did talk and I have invited Excellency Qureshi to come to India and he has very graciously accepted my invitation," Krishna said. "I am looking forward to hosting him in Delhi... and the dates have to be worked out."

Krishna, however, underlined that despite recent statements by Pakistan on Kashmir, talks would continue.

"India wants to keep Pakistan engaged in talks because we do not see any other alternatives...Talks are the only way to take this forward," the Indian minister said.
Separately, Krishna told an Indian TV channel that New Delhi has always "consistently rejected the whole idea (of third party intervention)."

"I think when we are talking to each other, intervention by any other country may not be that appropriate... Well if you were not in talking terms at all, then perhaps intervention by third countries could have been helpful but here the case is quite different."We are talking and we will continue to talk and the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said that engaging with Pakistan is one of our concerns and we will certainly keep talking to them," he told 'Times Now' in response to a question.

Krishna said India has been a victim of terrorist attacks emanating from Pakistani soil, which is a cause of concern to it."... terror is one of our core issues and after the attack on Mumbai, we have drawn Pakistan's attention to the follow-up that needs to be done by them in terms of bringing (to book) all those culprits or the conspirators, the brains behind that heinous crime on not only India but on humanity itself.

"I think they should hasten the process... well they have arrested a few and then there are a large number of them who are still at large and I hope Pakistan will show its seriousness in pursuing this," the Indian minister said.

On the possibility of a meeting with Qureshi here, Krishna said "there are a number of multilateral meetings where both of us will be participating... that will give me a chance to interact with him.

"We ran into each other yesterday and them United Nations is the forum which itself is meant for such meetings."

Qureshi and Krishna had a "chance encounter" on Thursday at the UN, where they greeted each other warmly and talked about the floods in Pakistan.

At this stage, Indian diplomats have not confirmed any bilateral meeting between the two ministers here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, but a senior diplomat from Pakistani claimed that a meeting had been cleared by both ministries and was expected to take place early next week.

Krishna is in New York till September 29 while Qureshi till September 30.Qureshi has raised the issue of Kashmir several times during the past few days and called for international intervention.

Addressing a small gathering at the Asia Society here yesterday, the Pakistan Foreign Minister described Kashmir as a "festering sore of South Asia.""The United States, as the world leader, has special responsibility towards finding a just and peaceful solution of Kashmir," the minister said.

However later in the day, Qureshi appeared to tone down, noting that the US could play a "facilitating role.""I know India is allergic to third party intervention," he said. "They (US) can play a facilitating role but ultimately ... we have to see what Kashmiris want," he said.

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