Port of Spain, Nov.27 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna, who is accompanying the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on his visit to the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, has said that India would be more than willing to talk to Pakistan, but only after authorities in that country took concrete steps to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai to justice and dismantled the terrorist infrastructure on its soil.
Interacting with the media on the sidelines of a reception hosted by the Indian High Commission for the Prime Minister and Indian Diaspora here, Krishna said: " The idea of talking is to engage a nation. We have already said that we would be willing to do that provided Pakistan does what it has promised to do (bringing to justice perpetrators of mumbai). So, far there has been no requests for a meeting from their side. Let's see."
Krishna's comment came as unconfirmed rumours were doing the rounds that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi could undertake a visit to New Delhi, but sources in the Pakistan High Comission in the Indian capital, when contacted today, said no such planned visit was on the anvil in the forseeable future.
Last week, addressing the South Asian Economic Integration conference organised by FICCI, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) and his ministry, Krishna had said cross-border terrorism and anti-India activities from neighbouring territories have impacted on the process of South Asian regional cooperation at all levels.
Krishna said: "Issues such as cross-border terrorism and incidents of anti-India activities from territories of our neighbouring countries have impacted on the process of regional economic engagement, connectivity and people-to-people contacts. Whereas prospects for cooperation are bright, a realistic assessment indicates that these prospects have, to an extent, become captive to the security situation," he added.
South Asia, he said, must move beyond the security issues that it is bound by, and take steps to promote an era of mutual trust, mutually reinforcing growth and development. By Smita Prakash (ANI)