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India is willing to discuss all issues with Pak: Krishna

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 05, 2010 16:30 IST
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India on Thursday expressed readiness to discuss everything with Pakistan through a 'step-by-step' approach.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said Pakistan should understand India's 'broad gestures' for developing friendly relations.

"We want a step-by-step approach for resolving differences with Pakistan. Therefore we are willing to discuss everything with them," he said while replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha.

When Bharatiya Janata Party member S S Ahluwalia sought to know whether India would talk about issues like Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, he said, "We have taken a decision that India is willing to discuss everything including the three subjects you mentioned. We have nothing to be afraid of. Our conscience is clear. Our stand is very clear. We have nothing to be afraid of. So, why should we shy away from meeting our Pakistani counterparts?"

Queried by BJP members as to why the government was pushing for dialogue despite anti-India jihadi activities, he said, "We have tried to bring to the attention of Pakistan government the repeated effort by jihadi forces in Pakistan, which are pouring venom on India and engaging in hate-India propaganda day in and day out. I conveyed to Pakistan that this certainly does not help in building confidence among ourselves or reducing the trust deficit."

He said if India and Pakistan were to co-exist as good neighbours, "then these activities need to cease."

"At the same time, India would like to carry on with the dialogue with Pakistan," Krishna said, noting that he had invited Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to India, dates for which are to be worked out.

"Let the House understand that whatever decisions have been taken, have been taken with full responsibility," he said.

"We would like to have good relations with Pakistan. But Pakistan will have to deeply introspect to the broad gestures of India," he said, when asked how India would take the dialogue process forward in view of the situation in Kashmir and the Inter Service Intelligence's role in promoting terrorist activities.

Referring to his talks with Qureshi in Islamabad on July 15, he said several humanitarian issues were also discussed, like the release of fishermen of both countries who invariably cross international waters.

"We also discussed increasing people to people contact, exchange programmes of students and vice chancellors and expanding trade and commerce," Krishna said.

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