MEA official dismissive of Musharraf suggestion on Agra summit



New Delhi: An External Affairs Ministry official blamed by the former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for failure of the 2001 Indo-Pak summit in Agra was dismissive of the suggestion by the ex-military dictator.

Vivek Katju, the official who is now Secretary (West), was asked by newsmen today for his reaction to Musharraf's claim that he created a "lot of hurdles" during the Agra peace talks. Katju, a 1974 batch IFS officer, was then joint secretary in-charge of Pakistani division in the External Affairs Ministry.

"I have seen it," Katju said smilingly referring to the recent remarks by the former Pakistani Army Chief, who is living in exile in Britain.

The question about Musharraf's remark was posed to Katju after he briefed newsmen on the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Brussels and Berlin.

Musharraf in an interview to an Indian TV channel while referring to the summit meeting had said that things were progressing fine during his talks with the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee till Katju intervened.

"There was someone from the Foreign Ministry sitting there named Katju. He may still be there, he created a lot of hurdles," he said.

Vajpayee and Musharraf met in Agra on July 15 and 16, 2001 to resolve outstanding issues between India and Pakistan.

But the summit collapsed as the two sides couldn?t arrive at any agreement, despite five one-to-one rounds between the two leaders and hours of discussion between the two delegations.

PTI