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Updated: February 24, 2010 15:50 IST

Bracketing Saeed with talks counter-productive, says Pakistan

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Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. Photo: V. Sudershan
The Hindu
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. Photo: V. Sudershan

On the eve of Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks, Pakistan on Tuesday said India’s demand for handing over of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, should not be bracketed with the parleys as it would be “counter-productive.”

“In my view it is better not to view this (tomorrow’s talks) from the point of success or failure. Let’s wait till tomorrow. There will be more clarity on this tomorrow and we’ll take it from there,” Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told reporters here in reply to a question before leaving for New Delhi.

Mr. Bashir will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao, who is expected to raise the issue of terrorism during the meeting.

On India’s demand for handing over of Saeed, he said Pakistan’s stand was very clear “on these issues, on counter-terrorism and other problems.”

“There is only one way — the first thing is that the two sides had agreed in Sharm-el-Sheikh that terrorism is a common problem. That is, the threat of terrorism is both to India and Pakistan as it is to other countries of the world,” Mr. Bashir said.

“In my view, there is great clarity that bracketing these specific issues with the talks is counter-productive.”

Responding to a question on India’s alleged interference in Balochistan and whether he would raise it during the meeting, Mr. Bashir said all this is part of counter-terrorism and if that issue is raised Pakistan will discuss this matter.

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