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'Talks with Pakistan will be restricted to terrorism'

By Sheela Bhatt
September 24, 2009 01:42 IST
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It seems that the Sharm-el-Sheikh controversy and Congress party's politics over it has hit the Prime Minister's Office. A source in the government is underplaying the September 27 meeting between Union External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York.

When asked about it, he said, "S M Krishna has been briefed that he should basically talk about terrorism. The bottom line is that talk will be restricted to terrorism."

The government is so much underplaying New York talks that the source said, "If that goes well we will see what to do next."

The source of government was so skeptical of steps being taken by Pakistan in response to the 26/11 Mumbai attack, when asked to react about the arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawaah Hafeez Saeed he said, "I am not sure if he is Hafeez Saeed? Some people are saying that he is not even under house arrest. I do not see the real intention of arresting him."

However, he said that ceasefire violations at India-Pakistan borders are not abnormally high. "Ceasefire has not collapsed nor about to collapse," he said.

When asked to comment on allegations about nuclear proliferation between China and Pakistan, he said, "China and Pakistan's relation is like teeth and lips." He said it is a matter of concern for India.

On one hand government is cold towards Pakistan but on the issue of Chinese incursions at border and bilateral relation with China -- its response is aggressively positive.

When a journalist asked the source what is the government doing about growing distrust between India and China he shot back, "Who told you so much distrust is there?"

Government's contention is there is nothing alarming about recently reported incursions. The incursions and number of incidences are same in disputed areas. He taunted the journalist that, "Just because you want extra byte don't distort facts. Don't unnecessarily raise tempers or create unwarranted situation."

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