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Updated: July 16, 2010 16:48 IST

Krishna meets Pak. party leaders, wraps up visit

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External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna shakes hands with Overseas Pakistan Affairs Minister Farooq Sattar during a meeting in Islamabad on Friday.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna shakes hands with Overseas Pakistan Affairs Minister Farooq Sattar during a meeting in Islamabad on Friday.

External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna on Friday held talks with leaders from different political parties in Pakistan, including PML-N’s Shahbaz Sharif to whom he presented a ‘chaddar’ to be placed on the revered shrine of Data Darbar which was attacked by terrorists recently.

A delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders led by Overseas Pakistan Affairs Minister Farooq Sattar met Mr. Krishna this morning as the External Affairs Minister wrapped up his three-day visit to Pakistan.

“We are happy on the resumption of dialogue between the two countries which has come at a very opportune time,” Mr. Sattar said.

Mr. Krishna also met Awami National Party leader Haji Mohammad Adeel. On Thursday, he met President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yosuf Raza Gilani.

The Minister said that he had been assured that Islamabad would pursue leads from Pakistani-American David Headley so as to “bring all the perpetrators of that horrific crime to justice.”

Difference of opinion over Krishna’s silence

The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) on Friday said that Home Secretary G. K. Pillai was not “defended” by External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna when he was “openly castigated” by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for his remarks that the ISI had coordinated Mumbai terror attacks.

The Congress on its part described as ridiculous any attempt by Pakistan to equate Mr. Pillai’s remarks with Jamaat-ud-Dawah(JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s anti-India hate speeches.

“The Foreign Minister of Pakistan chose to attack India’s Home Secretary. I regret he was not defended there by India’s Foreign Minister,” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said, a day after Mr. Qureshi’s unexpected attack on Mr. Pillai at a joint news conference with Mr. Krishna after their talks in Islamabad.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, “The Home Secretary was simply making a statement of fact about what India’s stand has been, It is only India’s stand. I don’t think there is any basis for comparison of statements by Hafiz Saeed or Salahuddin with the Home Secretary. That would be ridiculous.”

Mr. Singhvi also noted that Mr. Krishna has not confirmed Mr. Qureshi’s remarks that both the Ministers were of the opinion that Mr. Pillai’s comments on ISI’s role in 26/11 were “uncalled” for.

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