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Pak fabricating evidence on Balochistan: Krishna

Pak fabricating evidence on Balochistan: Krishna

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: December 4, 2009
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-fabricating-evidence-on-Balochistan-Krishna-/articleshow/5297551.cms

India on Thursday accused Pakistan of "fabricating evidence" and rejected as "unfounded" charges of fomenting insurgency in Balochistan and ruled out composite talks till Pakistan took action against 26/11 culprits.

During Question House in Rajya Sabha, foreign minister S M Krishna made it clear that the stalled comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan could resume only after Islamabad moved in "a transparent manner" against the 26/11 perpetrators.

On Pakistan's repeated allegations, Krishna said statements of the Pakistani foreign minister read together made it evident that Islamabad was fabricating evidence (of India's alleged role in Balochistan).

"Not even a shred of evidence has been received so far," the foreign minister said.

On August 7, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that evidence of India's involvement in Balochistan would be disclosed through diplomatic channels at the right time. On November 22, he said evidence of India's involvement was being compiled.

According to Krishna, these two statements were a clear indication that Pakistan "has not been able to marshal any evidence of India's involvement in Balochistan".

"The government has seen reports attributed to Pakistan's PM, foreign minister and interior minister alleging Indian interference in Balochistan. The government has firmly rejected such reports as being unfounded," Krishna said.

Recalling PM Manmohan Singh's recent remarks in Washington about India posing no threat to Pakistan, Krishna said, "The PM has said we believe in a stable and prosperous Pakistan living in peace with its neighbours. We fully stand by this."

He added, "The PM has said we have no interest in destabilising Pakistan."

To everybody's surprise, especially to the ruling benches, Vijay Darda of Congress raised the issue by asking Krishna whether it was a drafting mistake to include Balochistan in the July 2009 Indo-Pak agreement.

Darda's remarks gave Opposition BJP an opening to attack the PM on the contentious issue. Party MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy asked whether the reference to Balochistan in the joint declaration after the meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Gilani in Sharm el-Sheikh on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement in July had occurred by "mistake".

"For the first time, the word Balochistan has appeared (in an India-Pakistan joint declaration). Was it a mistake? My question to the prime minister is: How did the word Balochistan figure in the Sharm el-Sheikh declaration," Rudy asked.

Krishna, however, dodged the question by saying, "This question has twice been answered in this House. The PM has made a detailed statement on how it happened. India's stand is an open book and we stand committed to that statement."

Singh, who was present in the House throughout Question Hour, silently sat through the exchanges.

Ruling out composite talks till Pakistan took action against 26/11 culprits, the foreign minister said, "Talks for the time being are suspended. Unless Pakistan moves in a transparent manner to bring to book the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks, till then, we are not in a position to resume the composite dialogue process."

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