Cricket yes, but Pakistan must deliver on 26/11: Khurshid

Cricket yes, but Pakistan must deliver on 26/11: Khurshid

Cricket yes, but Pakistan must deliver on 26/11: Khurshid

After the planned resumption of cricket ties between India and Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Friday said while there is a "window opening" for better ties, there is no dilution in India's stand on Pakistan bringing the 26/11 attackers to justice.

In his first formal interaction with the media after taking charge as foreign minister six days ago, Khurshid did a delicate balancing act on relations with Pakistan but sent a stern message on the need for Islamabad to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to justice.

"We are certainly concerned about the accountability for the attack. There is no question of dilution in our stand," he told reporters when asked about the planned resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan which were suspended after the Nov 26, 2008, terror attacks by the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

He was speaking after chairing the meeting of the council of ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.

Khurshid made it clear that while sporting ties are fine, India expected Pakistan "to deliver on its frequently indicated promise that those behind the mayhem would be brought to account."

He indicated that the decision to resume cricketing ties can be reviewed at  a later stage and would depend on the circumstance. "It is not an irreversible or permanent decision," he said.

He added that cutting off communication for a long period has never helped. "A degree of aloofness was called for earlier with Pakistan and it was maintained."

In the same breath, he said: "We don't want the clock to come to a standstill, it must move."

"India is cautious and committed to accountability. We are committed to security of our people and a future that is not held hostage to the past," he underlined.