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India has nothing to do with Balochistan: Chidambaram

Source: PTI
July 25, 2009 21:55 IST
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Home Minister P Chidambaram has categorically stated that India has nothing to do with Balochistan. He also made it clear that the Congress will rally behind the government over the Indo-Pak joint statement when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks in Parliament next week.

Dr Singh will spell out in Parliament the 'real meaning' of the document and apprise how Balochistan found its way in it, Chidambaram told a TV channel during an interview. "We are not involved in Balochistan. We have nothing to do with the internal problem of Pakistan. In fact, a Baloch leader has said that he gets no support from India," he said.

"Besides, why should we get involved in Balochistan? We have enough problems on our western border with Pakistan," the home minister said.

On the joint statement issued after the meeting between Dr Singh and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned summit, Chidambaram said, "Pakistan did not say in the statement that India is involved in Balochistan".

He said the joint statement merely recorded that the Pakistani prime minister mentioned problems in Balochistan to Dr Singh.

"In what circumstances, it (Balochistan) found its way to the statement, I am sure will be brought out in the debate," he said. On reports of divisions in the Congress over the joint statement, Chidambaram said, "The party has said the government can and will defend the statement. I have heard that. There will be a debate in the Parliament and when the debate takes place, you will find the party rallying behind the government."

When queried about the statement made by Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, that it could be a case of 'bad drafting', Chidambaram said, "We now have to look for the real meaning of the statement."

He noted that the prime minister has already said that the real meaning is that there is no question of starting talks with Pakistan unless it acts on terror. The prime minister had, in his statement in Parliament last week, said, "Whether, when and in what form we begin talks will depend upon Pakistan acting on the issue of terrorism," Chidambaram pointed out.

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