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I do not want to visit India for a leisure trip: Qureshi

By Rezaul H Laskar
Last updated on: July 18, 2010 15:23 IST
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Upping the ante, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said he is unwilling to travel to New Delhi for talks unless India is prepared to hold a "meaningful, constructive and result-oriented" dialogue to resolve outstanding issues.

"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)," Qureshi said last night after addressing a joint news conference with visiting British Minister Sayeeda Warsi.

He was responding to a question from reporters onĀ  whether he would travel to New Delhi for talks in view of Indian government's current position.

Following a meeting with Qureshi on Thursday, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had announced that he had invited his Pakistani counterpart to visit India for the next round of their parleys.

Qureshi reiterated his assertion that Krishna had come to Pakistan with a limited mandate.

"At our talks, I said that they (Indian side) should raise terrorism if it was among their priorities because it is also our concern. You can raise (the) Mumbai (attacks) but we have our concerns," he said.

Among Pakistan's concerns was the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where curfew had been imposed and there were killings, he said.

Qureshi contended that India raised its concerns and "then became selective" in taking on Pakistan's concerns.

"If you (India) are answerable to your people on terrorism, we too are a democracy and have to satisfy our people," he said.

Qureshi said he had not raised any issues with Krishna that were not part of the eight components of the composite dialogue. This was done because Pakistan does not want the four years of efforts made through the composite dialogue to go waste, he said.

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Rezaul H Laskar
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