New Delhi: Days after calling home secretary GK Pillai`s comment prior to the India-Pakistan talks ill-timed, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Thursday termed the comparison of Pillai with terrorist Hafiz Saeed by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as "ridiculous".
"It is ridiculous to compare the home secretary of India to a terrorist," Krishna said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
On the eve of the foreign ministers` talks between the two countries, Pillai had said that Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) played a "very significant role" in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
Qureshi, during the joint press conference at the end of the meet in Pakistan, said the remarks by Pillai were "uncalled for". He made an apparent comparison between Pillai`s statement and the hate speeches by the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed.
At that point, Krishna remained silent, though later in Delhi he said there could be no comparison between the two statements.
"Why is such a comparison being made by a responsible foreign minister of a friendly country like Pakistan. I did not want to get in a slanging match there," Krishna said in response to a question by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member and Deputy Leader of Opposition in the house S.S. Ahluwalia.
After repeatedly being urged by the BJP members to state a reason for saying that Pillai`s comment was ill-timed and not responding to the statement made by Pakistan`s foreign minister on the occasion, Krishna said the reply would have been of no use.
"It was of no use to respond to him there," he said.
The minister, however, maintained that the comment made by Pillai was wrongly timed.
"Home Secretary is a distinguished civil servant... still I maintain the timing of the statement was wrong," he said.