Islamabad: External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna arrived here today with a candid message to Pakistan
that time has come for it to act against those involved in
terror against India, particularly on the basis of
revelations of Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley.
Ahead of tomorrow`s talks with his Pakistani
counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi, soft-spoken Krishna minced
no words about India`s expectations of "some movement" from
Islamabad on the issue of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
"I think time has come when such overwhelming evidence
of irrefutable nature, if presented to any government, that
government will have to act," he told reporters shortly before
an informal dinner meeting with Qureshi.
Refusing to pre-judge the outcome of his parleys,
Krishna said that he would talk to Qureshi about "various
concerns based on Headley`s revelations" and other evidence
gathered by India itself over a period of time.
Pakistan, he emphasised, cannot find fault with the
interrogation of Headley as it was also done by the US` FBI.
Krishna`s focus on Headley assumes significance in the
backdrop of comments attributed to Indian Home Secretary G K
Pillai that evidence based on his interrogation showed that
ISI and Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Hafeez Saeed played "a much
more significant role" in Mumbai terror attacks than was
The External Affairs Minister also made it clear that
anti-India tirade by Hafeez Saeed and other Jihadi leaders
would not not "smoothen" Indo-Pak ties. Saeed has been
consistently making speeches to provoke the people of Pakistan
against India, he said.
Answering a question on Qureshi`s remark that he would
raise the issue of alleged human rights violation in Jammu and
Kashmir, Krishna said that it was an internal issue and "we
don`t have to answer any other country". During his three-day visit, Krishna will hold talks
with his Qureshi and will try to find areas of convergence
between the two countries, besides focusing on Confidence
Building Measures in the areas of people-to-people contact,
exchange of prisoners and bilateral trade.
"We hope to discuss all issues of mutual interest and
concern that can contribute to restoring trust and bringing
confidence in our bilateral relationship," Krishna told
reporters upon his arrival here.
"I also look forward to receiving feedback on the
issues raised by our Home Minister (P Chidambaram) during his
visit to Pakistan last month on our core concern of terrorism,
particularly in the light of the discussions our Home Minister
had in Pakistan in the context of interrogation of David
Headley regarding the Mumbai terrorist attack," he said.
Describing his visit as an important one, Krishna said
he hoped it would usher in "a new journey in our efforts to
build a peaceful, friendly and cooperative relationship
between our two countries."
India is committed to resolving all issues with
Pakistan through peaceful dialogue based on mutual trust and
confidence, Krishna said.
"I am carrying with me a message of peace and
friendship from the people of India and we hope to undertake
this voyage of peace, however long and arduous, jointly with
the government and people of Pakistan," he said.
Krishna said he also looked forward to meeting
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani tomorrow.
During his visit here, the effort by the Indian side
would be to work out the modalities of restoring trust and
confidence in the relationship, thus paving the way for a
substantive dialogue on issues of mutual concern.
The two Foreign Ministers have been tasked by their
Prime Ministers, who met in Thimphu in April, to bridge the
trust deficit and increase confidence in the relationship.
The visit takes place in the backdrop of weeks of
violence in Kashmir valley, in which the Indian establishment
sees involvement of elements from across the Line of Control.
In fact, some see a link between Krishna`s visit and timing of
the violence. However, Qureshi has said that he will raise
with Krishna the issue of alleged human rights in Jammu and
Although tomorrow`s talks are not being described as
Composite Dialogue, India will not shy away from discussing
any issue concerning the bilateral ties.
Afghanistan may be another important subject for
discussion between Krishna and Qureshi. India has pumped in
over USD one billion in assistance to the war-torn country and
is unwilling to cede any strategic space to Pakistan.