‘No intention to exchange barbs with Pak over J&K’

India would maintain a restrained posture and has no intention of indulging in a "mud-slinging match" with Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir that has recently been raised by Islamabad.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2010, 13:30 PM IST

New York: India would maintain a
restrained posture and has no intention of indulging in a
"mud-slinging match" with Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir
that has recently been raised by Islamabad.

"India doesn`t think getting involved in a
mud-slinging match... (it) is either necessary or desirable
right now," an Indian official said, requesting anonymity.

The official was responding to Pakistan`s frequent
needling of India over the tensions in Kashmir.

During the past week, Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi has raised the question of Kashmir at several
public forums in New York.

Addressing a gathering at the Asia Society, Qureshi
described Kashmir as the "festering sore of South Asia" and
urged the US to play a facilitating role in resolution of the
issue.

"The United States, as the world leader, has special
responsibility towards finding a just and peaceful solution of
Kashmir," the minister said.

The final document of the Organisation of Islamic
Conference`s meeting this year, held on the sidelines of the
opening week of the UN General Assembly also, "urged the
international community to play its due role to settle this
long standing dispute on UN agenda for the overall
improvement of the relations between Pakistan and India as
well as to promote regional peace and stability".

Foreign Minister SM Krishna, who is also in New York
to attend the UNGA session and a host of other forums, has
maintained that Kashmir is a unilateral matter and rejected
any interference from outside.

He, however, noted that all issues including Kashmir
would be discussed when Qureshi comes to Delhi for talks at a
yet to be fixed date.

"Everything that they want to discuss and everything
we want to discuss with them will be discussed," he said.

Both the Indian and the Pakistani ministers are here
to attend the opening week of the General Assembly.

A little exchange of words on Kashmir notwithstanding,
both have underlined the need for talks as the only way
forward in resolving outstanding issues.

"Today there is a realisation that a negotiated
solution is the only sensible way," Qureshi said.

Krishna echoed the sentiment when he said: "India
wants to keep Pakistan engaged in talks because we do not see
any other alternatives... talks are the only way to take this
forward".

A bilateral meeting between the two ministers is also
on the sidelines of the UNGA.

They already had had a "chance encounter" at the UN,
last week, and may also run into each other at a meeting of
the foreign ministers of the Commonwealth countries today.

PTI