Islamabad: Seeking to blame India for
the "last-minute hitch" in talks, Pakistan Friday said New
Delhi appeared to be unwilling to commit to a roadmap for
future engagement and made it clear that the dialogue cannot
move forward if Kashmir is not discussed.
"If we focus more only on those issues which India
gives importance to and ignore those considered important by
Pakistan, then I don`t think the talks can move forward,"
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters,
a day after his meeting with his Indian counterpart S M
"Kashmir has been part of our negotiations. It is a
disputed territory. It is not possible to delink Kashmir from the negotiations," he said.
He said it would not make sense to discuss aspects
like cultural and trade relations while ignoring "core" issues
like Jammu and Kashmir, peace and security and Siachen.
"We understand their concerns and want to address
those. But there are concerns of Pakistan which they (India)
should address," he said.
Qureshi said there was "no deadlock" but acknowledged
that there were "difficulties and problems" that both sides
would have to overcome.
"It is the nature of India-Pakistan talks that
whenever there is progress, there is always a last minute
hitch. There was no hitch from Pakistan`s side," he said.
Noting that Krishna had said he was prepared to
discuss all issues, Qureshi said: "We wanted that we should
have a roadmap for the future at the end this discussion and
they felt they did not have the mandate to commit to a
Qureshi contended that India was "narrowing the
dialogue" and Pakistan had made it clear that "you cannot be
selective in discussions".
The issues between India and Pakistan were already
identified and part of the eight segments of the composite
dialogue that had continued for four years, he said.
"If they want to confine those issues, it becomes
difficult for Pakistan," he said.
Taking a dig at Krishna, the Pakistani Foreign
Minister said that he did not step out of the talks to "attend
any phone calls", but the "Indian Foreign Minister received
foreign policy directions from New Delhi repeatedly during our
"I led Pakistan`s team and I didn`t need to make even
a single phone call (to Pakistan leaders) during the day-long
talks. Krishna is the principal for giving direction to
foreign policy (but) why were directions being sent repeatedly
He said the Indian side had been "selective" in
yesterday`s talks but such an approach did not conform to the
spirit of the meeting of the Indian and Pakistan premiers in
Bhutan in April as they had decided to discuss all issues.
"In talks, there can be progress when we move forward
on all issues at the same time. If we give importance only to
those issues which India says are important and sideline
issues of interest to Pakistan, then we cannot take things
Qureshi said there are difficulties in the bilateral
ties and both countries need to find a way to handle them.
"We are ready to engage, we are ready to negotiate any
time, anywhere and we are not in a hurry. We will wait till
they are ready," he said.
Qureshi said Pakistan wanted a roadmap for the future
as an outcome of the talks but the Indian side felt they did
not have the mandate to make such a commitment.
"India was narrowing the dialogue and we said you
cannot be selective," he said.
"We understand India`s concerns and want to address
them. But Pakistan also has its concerns and core issues which
should be understood by India," he said.
"Pakistan is ready for talks but dialogue should be
substantive, meaningful and result-oriented. Pakistan`s people
and Kashmiris cannot be delinked from the situation in Jammu
and Kashmir," Qureshi said.
"There will not be any hitch from Pakistan side. I am
ready to negotiate on any issue," Qureshi added.
Responding to a specific question on whether there was
a deadlock in yesterday`s talks, Qureshi replied: "I will not
call it a deadlock. But I will say Pakistan`s approach
yesterday was solid and constructive and we wanted to move
Pakistan had shared a "non paper" with India on steps
that could be taken to restore confidence and bridge the trust
deficit, he said. Qureshi contended that both sides had
"reached agreement on many issues" in which areas progress
could be made to improve the atmosphere.
Qureshi also contended that his discussions with
Krishna at an informal dinner on Wednesday night were "very
successful" but that things changed a day later at the formal
"I felt India, on a basic level, was not fully
prepared," he said.
Qureshi made it clear that Pakistan is not willing to
back down on its historical position on the Kashmir issue. He
joined issues with Krishna on his assertion that any human
rights violations and law and order problems in Jammu and
Kashmir would be handled by the state`s elected government.
"It was already decided that Kashmir is part of our
talks and that it is a disputed territory. If it is said that
Pakistan`s people and Kashmiris should become delinked from
the situation inside (Jammu and Kashmir), that is not
possible," he said.
"There may be mechanisms in India to watch human
rights violations but if the army is being deployed to
maintain law and order, there is curfew in many cities,
strikes across Jammu and Kashmir and innocent people are being
affected, how can Pakistan become delinked?" he said.
"The government of Indian-occupied Kashmir is also
looking forward to this dialogue and is keen there is some
forward movement vis-a-vis this dialogue because they
understand the difficulties they are undergoing at the
Pakistan is as prepared as India to tack terrorism
because it is a victim of the menace, he added.
Qureshi also contested Krishna`s assertion that
Pakistan has not provided even a "shred of evidence" of
India`s alleged role in fomenting unrest in Balochistan,
saying he had not spoken out at yesterday`s joint press
conference as he was the host and Krishna was his guest.
"According to my information, our Interior Minister
discussed this with their Home Minister and (Krishna) should
be aware of this," he said.