India concerned over Khar-Hurriyat meeting
New Delhi: The discomfort between India and Pakistan over Hina Rabbani Khar’s meeting with the Hurriyat leaders came to the fore on Wednesday.
Addressing a joint press conference with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao admitted that India is concerned about divergence from Pakistani side.
Khar within hours of her arrival in Delhi, Yesterday, met separatist
leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others in the Pakistan High
Commission, an action which has been viewed as a
"bad idea" by the Indian side, especially because the meeting was held ahead of the official parleys with SM Krishna.
Rao said, “There are divergences. We have different point of view on that matter (Khar meeting Hurriyat). We have expressed our views…you have set a parallel structure. As far as we are concerned we have set bilateral structure to discuss all issues including Jammu and Kashmir.”
Bashir on his part tried to downplay the meeting, he said, “It is our intention to reach out. we should not read more into it. This matter of the meeting yesterday cannot be construed in any manner to cast any sort of shadow. Reading more into it is perhaps not called for.”
On the issue of Pakistan acting on India’s terror concerns, Bashir said, “A lot has happened that is not on the surface for you to have a reasoned conclusion. To keep on coming back to the past is counterproductive. It is upto us as to how we see our future, a future that is definitely interlinked. I see no point in getting into acrimony.”
When a reporter pointed out to Rao that India, in the joint statement expressed satisfaction on the talks on the issue of terror, she said, “We did not express satisfaction in the way you expressed dissatisfaction.”
She said that the agenda of the bilateral talks between the two countries is one of hope and cautious optimism.
“What is important is to lift the fog from this relationship…the kind of impulse from recent meeting is to clear the path, clear the undergrowth,” she said.
Deliberating on the same issue, Bashir said, “There was a very productive meeting between the two ministers. The joint statement signifies the intent of both Pakistan and India to adopt a cooperative mode to take the relationship further.”
“There are no simple, straight answers for some of the
problems between India and Pakistan,” he said.