NEW DELHI - India says it will take a decision on possible talks between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif in New York next month after assessing the steps Pakistan takes to address India’s concerns on recent ‘unacceptable’ incidents.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the government was adopting a wait-and-watch approach and wants Pakistan to take responsibility for what has happened and find a methodology to address it to our satisfaction.”
He was asked if after a two-week lull on the Line of Control, the time had come for the government to announce talks between the two prime ministers in New York next month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.
“We are keeping quiet on this and watching. I realise that the time is coming for the New York visit. So, obviously, call will be taken by the prime minister at an appropriate stage. But we will not hasten as we do not want to jump the gun. I think when a major significant thing goes wrong, many things still remain right, but you cannot neglect the major thing that has gone wrong. Decision has to be in the interest of the nation,” he told reporters at New Delhi.
Khurshid said a decision on the issue could be taken after analysing the data available with the government. “We have been watching carefully and you know such steps as are necessary to be taken, but let’s stay low. We have to just analyse the information that comes in. We have sources through which information comes about what happens, why it happens and who is taking credit for something that we consider utterly unacceptable,” he said.
There has been uncertainty over whether the two leaders will hold talks in New York after the killing of five Indian soldiers on the Line of Control in a Pakistan Army attack on August 6 and the recent spurt in ceasefire violations.
After the incident, the BJP had demanded cancellation of talks with Pakistan on which Defence Minister AK Antony had said the incident would have consequences on India’s behaviour and attitude on LoC and ties with Pakistan.
Asked what steps India expects Pakistan to take in the next two weeks to address its concerns, Khurshid said, “What we expect is the civilian government takes responsibility for what has happened and finds a methodology to address it to our satisfaction. I think I need not amplify what needs to be done as it is clear what is to be done.”
The external affairs minister said, “The country can adjust and accommodate to the speed and the extent of delivery on Indian concerns, but it cannot adjust to its “direction”. The direction is what we seek and what we deserve and what is the right thing to do.” He said India cannot dictate or suggest things inside Pakistan’s territory and “at the end of the day, we can deal with only an elected civilian government there.”
Meanwhile, India has dispatched another group of its commandos to Afghanistan for protection of its diplomatic missions and economic projects in Afghanistan.
The Indian defence minister has announced that India dispatched 79 commandos to Afghanistan for the purpose. He said this has been done as Indian embassy and consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad have faced security threats.