Terror to be core issue of talks between India and Pakistan: Krishna

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New Delhi, May 20 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has said that terror continues to be the core issue of talks between India and Pakistan, and it would be one of the most important issues that would be taken up between the two nations during his forthcoming visit to Pakistan beginning July 15.

"Terror will continue to be the core issue for us even when I go to Islamabad. I will be talking to Foreign Minister Qureshi on terror, on terror instrumentalities and how those terror instrumentalities are operating from the soil of Pakistan," said Krishna.

"But at the same time, Pakistan also says they are afflicted by terror. The Taliban and other terrorist outfits are active even in Pakistan against the establishment. So, that has to be factored in while making an assessment of the impact of terror on India and Pakistan," he added in an interview to Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune.

On efforts by Pakistan to dismantle the terror apparatus and cut off link with it, Krishna said: "In the light of the terror attacks they have been experiencing in their own country, they are in a position to assess what terror is all about. Terrorists can strike any country, anywhere, and, they can do it at will."

"That is what they have proved in Rawalpindi. That is what they have proved in Swat and various other areas. So, I am sure, Pakistan would be looking at terror perhaps in the same prism with which India views it in," he added.

On the prosecution of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Krishna said India has the evidence and Pakistan should proceed against him.

"We have been telling them that we have given you enough evidence to prosecute Hafiz Sayeed, who is the mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks. We have the evidence and that evidence is provable in a court of law. So, I think, they should proceed against him."

"But both the times it was the court of law which let him out of custody. But, we still insist that Hafiz Sayeed is the brain behind the Mumbai attacks and he has to be brought to justice," he added.

Krishna said the main mission of his Pakistan visit would be to foster friendly relations between the two nations and eliminate the prevailing distrust.

"But our efforts will certainly be to eliminate the prevailing distrust. The central theme of my visit to Pakistan is to make an effort to eliminate the distrust among us. I think, if we succeed, something would have been achieved," he added. (ANI)

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