Asks Pakistan to step up prosecution of Mumbai terror attack masterminds
India on Thursday assured Pakistan that it has clean hands with respect to Balochistan and Afghanistan, and urged Islamabad to step up the pace in prosecuting the masterminds of the Mumbai terror attacks on November 26 last year.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna gave the assurance to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a luncheon after the swearing-in ceremony of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Thursday.
Mr. Krishna also spoke to Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Mr. Qureshi for a few minutes on the same issue before the swearing-in ceremony, said highly placed sources.
Mr. Qureshi in turn told Mr. Krishna about Pakistan’s investigations into the Mumbai attacks and appreciated the evidence submitted in seven dossiers by India which, he assured, would be presented to the court.
Urged by Mr. Krishna to step up the pace of investigations and prosecution, Mr. Qureshi assured that Islamabad was moving in that direction.
Mr. Krishna wanted to know from Mr. Qureshi why senior Pakistani political leaders were alleging Indian involvement in Balochistan and assured Pakistan of India’s disinterest in the situation in the Pakistani province.
He also informed Mr. Qureshi that Islamabad’s suspicions of New Delhi’s ulterior motives in Afghanistan were unfounded. India had no other agenda in Afghanistan apart from institution building and developmental work, which ought to be appreciated by Pakistan. The only motive was to restore peace and stability in the war-torn country.
The extended discussions with Mr. Qureshi took place as they were seated next to each other at the post-swearing in luncheon, said the sources.
Mr. Krishna also interacted with a number of other Foreign Ministers including, Hillary Clinton (United States), Sergei Lavrov (Russia), David Miliband (United Kingdom) and Ahmed Davutoglu (Turkey).
In a 15-minute conversation, Ms. Clinton told Mr. Krishna why and how a friendly relationship with India was very important for the U.S.
She said the special relationship being desired by Washington would be on display during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington next week.
Later, Mr. Krishna participated in a meeting of 10 Foreign Ministers to discuss the pace and direction of developmental activities in Afghanistan. India is one of the largest donors to Afghanistan and has so far committed $1.3 billions in aid.