Ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan: India
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Aug 5: India today expressed readiness to discuss everything with Pakistan through a “step-by-step” approach but asked it “to rein in the elements whose anti-India propaganda was not helping in bridging trust deficit.”
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said Pakistan should understand India’s “broad gestures” for developing friendly relations. “We want a step-by-step approach for resolving differences with Pakistan. Therefore we are willing to discuss everything with them,” he said replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha. When S S Ahluwalia (BJP) sought to know whether India would talk about Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, Krishna said; “We have taken a decision that India is willing to discuss everything including the three subjects you mentioned. We have nothing to be afraid of. Our conscience is clear. Our stand is very clear. We have nothing to be afraid of. So, why should we shy away from meeting our Pakistani counterparts.”
Queried by BJP members why the government was pushing for dialogue despite anti-India activities, Krishna said, “I conveyed to Pakistan that this certainly does not help in building confidence among ourselves or reducing the trust deficit.”
He said if India and Pakistan were to live like good neighbours, “then these activities need to cease.”
At the same time, India would like to carry on with the dialogue with Pakistan, Krishna said, noting that he had invited Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to India, dates for which are to be worked out.
“Let the House understand that whatever decisions have been taken, have been taken with full responsibility,” he said.
“We would like to have good relations with Pakistan. But Pakistan will have to deeply introspect to the broad gestures of India,” he said, when asked how India would take the dialogue process forward in view situation in Kashmir.
Referring to his talks with Qureshi in Islamabad on July 15, he said several humanitarian issues were also discussed, like release of fishermen of both countries who invariably cross international waters.
“We also discussed increasing people to people contact, exchange programmes of students and Vice Chancellors and expanding trade and commerce,” Krishna said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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