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India Will Not Monitor 26/11 Trials In Pakistan: Krishna

 In response to Pakistan's announcement that it would begin trials of the suspects held for Mumbai attacks from October 3, Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has said that India would not "monitor" these
PTI September 28, 2009 2:37 IST
PTI

 In response to Pakistan's announcement that it would begin trials of the suspects held for Mumbai attacks from October 3, Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has said that India would not "monitor" these proceedings. 

"We cannot monitor a development taking place in a friendly country like Pakistan," he told PTI , soon after the bilateral talks between the two countries concluded in New York. 

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told journalists that Islamabad had arrested seven people and prosecutions would begin in October. "Pakistan wants to see this trial to a logical conclusion," he said. 

Krishna said India has not set a "benchmark" for Islamabad but expected it to deliver tangible results in the investigations and prosecutions. 

"We have suggested to the Government of Pakistan that the perpetrators of that attack on Mumbai must be brought to justice within the framework of the Pakistan law," Krishna said. "That is the least that we expect from them," he added. 

In the press conference held after the bilateral talks, Qureshi noted that the international community had recognised Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism, and asked New Delhi to do the same. 

When asked about the Pakistan Foreign Minister's assertion, Krishna said "I do not have to respond to what other countries talk about Pakistan or the certificate Pakistan must have got. We have our own position vis-a-vis Pakistan." 

However, having spent two hours with the Pakistani delegation, Krishna got a sense that his counterpart Qureshi appeared to be committed towards addressing India's concerns on the Mumbai attacks. 

"The Minister is very serious and he was representing the Government of Pakistan," he said. 

Both ministers have described the bilateral talks as useful and productive. Although, it is not clear when the composite dialogue, as insisted by Islamabad, will be resumed.

There are possibilities that the two neighbours could engage on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is scheduled late November in Trinidad. 

Further talks between the two countries would depend on concrete action taken by Islamabad on the Mumbai attacks, particularly the upcoming trials, according to Krishna.

The Pakistani side has suggested a time-bound road map for peace, which the Indian government will begin considering. 

When asked about the next round of meetings, Krishna said, "We have just come out of one (meeting). So, give us some time." 

Meanwhile, Pakistan has underlined that the India-Pak dialogue should not be confined to just one issue -- terrorism or Mumbai.  

"We cannot confine our discussions to just one issue -- terrorism or Mumbai. Of course, we discuss terrorism and Mumbai but all outstanding issues that formed composite dialogue," Qureshi told reporters at a press conference.   

Qureshi claimed that Indian government is also keen on having dialogue but it was "compelled by force" of its public opinion to be "less forthcoming".  

"I discussed the pre-Mumbai situation, I discussed the difficulties that emanated from the Mumbai incident. And I have also discussed the way forward."  

"I have suggested to my counterpart a way forward and road map for the future because we are very clear that dialogue is the most sensible way forward and the only way forward," the Pakistani minister added.  He said that both sides should engage in constructive, meaningful dialogue and should not pick and choose.  

"I updated him on the progress made by Pakistan in Mumbai incident. We have decided to take action against the perpetrators of the carnage," he said, adding that the trial of the seven suspects accused by India of carrying out the Mumbai attacks will begin on October 3.

Yesterday, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court had put off the hearing of the case against seven persons accused of involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks till October 3. 

On Hafeez Saeed issue, he said "Saeed is being questioned in Pakistan and we are moving on the leads we have been provided". 

"I discussed the benefits of people-to-people contact," Qureshi said, adding that he raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar and water issues and regional bilateral trade during the talks. "We have given the proposals to the Indian government and it is considering them," he pointed out. 

He added "I am willing to reach out to the Indian people. If Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary of India are not ready to come to Pakistan then we are willing to travel to Delhi". PTI