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Khurshid doesn`t see Malik`s remarks as Pak`s formal policy

Last Updated: Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 21:13

On Board Special Aircraft: India on Sunday dismissed Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik`s controversial remarks during his visit to New Delhi, saying they cannot be taken as a formal policy statement of his country.

Malik had made several contentious remarks during his visit, including equating Mumbai terror attacks with Babri Masjid demolition and describing Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist Abu Jundal as an Indian intelligence operative.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that Malik`s remarks did not appear to be carefully worded or well discussed.

"If the Pakistan President said it, I would have put it in a different category. Leaders of Pakistan will articulate matters in different ways but I don`t think it would have been a discussed, thought out, carefully worded statement. This is something he may have felt, responded in heat of a moment but I would not think it would be a formal articulation on behalf of Pakistan," Khurshid told a news agency in an interview.

"It is not that he is nobody. He is an important part of the Pakistan government. But I think you should not take it as formal policy statement of Pakistan at this stage," Khurshid said.

He was asked about Malik`s comments equating Mumbai terror attack to Babri Masjid demolition which the Pakistani minister seemed to have retracted later.

Khurshid also said Pakistan`s selective approach on bringing to justice those involved in the Mumbai carnage was "not acceptable".

He questioned why 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed was yet to be hauled up.

"Everybody responsible has not been hauled up yet.... We believe everybody, particularly the masterminds be made accountable and on that we have not seen any homework on.

"LeT founder Hafiz Saeed has to be made accountable. Why he has not been made accountable? And that is the big question," Khurshid said.

Khurshid termed as "not true" the Pakistan minister`s comment that India has not raised the issue of Capt Saurabh Kalia, the Indian soldier who was tortured and his body mutilated during the Kargil conflict by the Pakistani Army.

"He (Malik) says it was the first time it was raised. It is not true. It may have been raised for the first time during his tenure but in my knowledge this is not true that it was not raised...... Since we have raised it (with him), we hope that he goes back and work on this and try to give us some satisfactory answer," the minister added.


First Published: Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 21:12
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