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Pak gives China 'blank cheque' to deal with India

Pak gives China 'blank cheque' to deal with India

Author: Times News Network
Publication: The Times of India
Date: January 23, 2009

A day after the Barack Obama administration warned Pakistan that it would be held accountable for security along the Pak-Afghan border, Pakistan seemed to cosy up to China as its foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi flaunted its "all weather" alliance with China by saying that Islamabad had given a "blank cheque" to Beijing to negotiate on its behalf with India.

Qureshi said he had told Chinese envoy He Yafei, also China's vice-foreign minister, to "go to India and you have a blank cheque from us". He said he had conveyed to Yafei that Islamabad would endorse whatever China told New Delhi on Pakistan's behalf.

The statement, which was made by Qureshi during a reception at the Chinese embassy in Islamabad, has raised question marks over Yafei's visit to India on January 5 because Delhi has gone out of its way to ensure that China did not act as a mediator. Yafei had visited Pakistan on December 29 and wanted to visit Delhi directly from Islamabad. India, however, did not allow this, fearing that it would give the impression that China was trying to mediate between the two countries. Yafei later came to Delhi on January 5 and advised India to continue the dialogue process with Pakistan. "We have complete trust, mutual understanding and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues," Qureshi said, adding that Pakistan's ties with China would flourish in the days ahead.

There was no official reaction from the foreign ministry in New Delhi, but a senior official said there was no question of China playing mediator and what Qureshi had said was his flight of imagination.

In Afghanistan, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee said the tendency to equate perpetrators and victims of terrorist acts should be avoided. "The commitment to fight against terrorism should be total. Sometimes, we find there is tendency to equate the perpetrators of terrorist acts and victims of terrorist acts together and hyphenated. It must be avoided."

Meanwhile, Germany, which lost three of its citizens in the Mumbai strikes, has felt that the Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attacks. "Based on whatever investigations we have conducted till now, we feel it is the LeT that is responsible for these attacks," Joerg Ziercke, president of Germany's federal police said in Delhi.

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