India-Pak talks end in stalemate
The peace process between India and Pakistan suffered a setback with the foreign ministers of the two countries ending their marathon daylong meeting with serious differences on Jammu and Kashmir and other issues that have bedevilled the ties between the two nations.
After four rounds of talks between them at the Foreign Office here, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Pakistan counterpart Shah Mehmud Qureshi agreed that the two sides would remain engaged and seek to amicably settle bilateral issues.
This was the first formal dialogue between the two nations at the political-level after the 26/11 attack and was widely expected to outline a roadmap for future discussions between the two neighbours.
However, no announcement was made by either side on any engagement coming up in the near future.
Krishna and Qureshi addressed a joint press conference at the end of their long meeting but it was quite evident that the two sides have not been able to narrow down their differences, particularly on terrorism emanating from the Pakistani soil.
India insisted that Pakistan must take the investigations into the Mumbai attacks to its logical end while Pakistan raised the issue of “human rights violations” in Jammu and Kashmir in the context of the ongoing unrest in the Valley.
Krishna asked Pakistan to show sincerity in conducting a speedy trial of the seven LeT operatives in Pakistan’s custody for their involvement in the Mumbai mayhem and also act on the dossiers provided by New Delhi.
Qureshi promised that Islamabad would seriously act on the leads provided by Home Minister P Chidambaram, particularly the confessions made by terror suspect David Coleman Headley, in conducting the probe on its side. He, however, wanted India to send to Pakistan the magistrate and the police officials who investigated Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist during the 26/11, to Pakistan for deposing before the Pakistani courts.
“Like India, judiciary in Pakistan is independent,”
he said. On the Kashmir issue, Krishna made it quite clear to the Pakistani leadership that the state has a duly elected government to tackle with the law and order situation. He also stated that the state government and human rights organisations would immediately take up any case of rights violations in the Valley and there was no reason for Islamabad to be concerned about it.