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Manmohan, Gilani meet at SAARC not ruled out: Krishna

SM Krishna has said the bilateral meeting between PM and his Pak counterpart Gilani cannot be ruled out.



Thimphu: In a first official indication of a possible meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan here, external affairs minister SM Krishna on Monday said the bilateral meeting cannot be ruled out.

"I am not ruling it out," Krishna said when asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani during his visit here for the SAARC summit to be held on April 28 to 29.

Observing that heads of states and governments are going to be under the same roof for the next couple of days for the multilateral meeting, the minister said there will be a number of bilateral meetings during the period.

"Let’s wait and watch, how things are going to work out," he said, adding "all bilateral issues between India and Pakistan will be discussed as and when the Prime Ministers meet".

Asked about Pakistan`s request seeking the testimony of the Indian magistrates who recorded the confessional statement of Mumbai attack accused Ajmal Kasab, Krishna said he was yet to examine the matter.

Krishna said he has received the dossier containing the request late last night but he was yet to go through the same.

Maintaining that Kasab`s trial was in advanced stage in India, he said it was going on in full steam.

"We have to complete our legal formalities first and then we can examine Pakistan`s request for the same," he said, adding, the matter will be examined in consultation with other ministries and departments.

The Pakistani side has made a request for three Indian officials, including two magistrates and an investigator, to be allowed to travel to Pakistan to testify that they had recorded Kasab`s statement.

A special court in Mumbai hearing the case of Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive by Indian authorities after the Mumbai siege of 2008, is expected to deliver its verdict on May 3.

Krishna arrived here for the 16th SAARC summit to be held on Thursday and Friday.

PTI

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