Qureshi says will visit only if India fully ready,his colleague says talks positive

While Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a news conference late Saturday night that he did not want to go to India...

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published: July 19, 2010 4:35:01 am

While Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a news conference late Saturday night that he did not want to go to India for a “leisure trip” and would go only if New Delhi was fully prepared for talks,his Cabinet colleague Rehman Malik said on Sunday that the talks between India and Pakistan should be seen as a “positive step”.

Interior Minister Malik sought to strike a positive note,saying that the India-Pakistan talks should not be judged “mathematically like 2+2=4” but should be seen as a “positive step”.

“It is time for exchange of hearts. Let us sow seeds of love and peace,so that future generations have only the option to reap love,and nothing but love…. Let us save our future generations from the disease of hate and terrorism,” tweeted Malik,who has nearly 3,500 followers.

Malik,who had a meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram on the margins of the SAARC Interior Ministers’ conference here last month,said that they both “will move forward in terms of delivery of commitments based on what we agreed”.

“The roadmap of commitment and performance between me and Mr Chidambaram is fully intact,” Malik said in his message posted on the microblogging site.

Meanwhile,speaking to mediapersons late last night,Qureshi clarified that he never said Krishna himself made the calls to Delhi. He said: “I never said Krishna himself was making calls (to New Delhi).”

He contended that whenever he and Krishna agreed on any issue Qureshi says trip only if India fully ready,his colleague says talks positive during their talks,a member of the Indian delegation would leave the room to confer with New Delhi and seek instructions. The Indian delegate who left the room would return and convey a message to Krishna,he claimed. The Indian side would then say that the matter that had been raised was outside their “restricted mandate,” Qureshi said.

He said there were about 15 to 20 people in the room where the talks were being held and they could vouch for his comments.

Responding to a question on whether he would travel to New Delhi for talks in view of the Indian government’s current position,Qureshi said: “I do not want to visit India for a leisure trip. I want to go for meaningful,constructive and result-oriented talks if the right atmosphere prevails and if they are fully prepared (for talks).”

Following last week’s meeting with Qureshi,Krishna had announced that he had invited his Pakistani counterpart to visit India for the next round of parleys.

According to Qureshi,he and Krishna had “agreed on many issues” during informal talks over dinner the night before their parleys. However,things changed during the formal talks on July 15,he said.

He further clarified that he had not said that Krishna had come to Islamabad with no mandate. “What I said is that he had a restricted mandate,” Qureshi said.

Qureshi also said he did not have “any doubt” about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Krishna’s positive attitude and desire to improve relations with Pakistan.

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