NEW YORK - Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, in an interview with Voice of America, has said Pakistan’s intelligence agency (ISI) and its military are trying to undermine Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to talk to India.
Khurshid told VOA Saturday that Sharif must find a way to keep Pakistan’s military and ISI under control. Referring to the recent attacks in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 10 people, he said, “We’ve been told that all the Pakistani government agencies are on the same page, but if they were, the things that are happening would not be happening.
Ahead of the much-anticipated meeting between the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in New York, Khurshid defended his prime minister’s strong criticism of Pakistan in his UN General Assembly address as “legitimate grievances.” The Indian prime minister had blamed Pakistan for cross-border terrorism and said the epicenter of terrorism was in Pakistan.
Mentioning the recent violence, the foreign minister questioned how the recent attacks could have taken place without support from ISI, adding if Pakistan could not control “non-state actors” on its territory it should seek India’s help. Khurshid told VOA, “We expect them to handle non-state actors if they are non-state actors.”
Foreign Minister Khurshid also said India had provided evidence of the involvement of Pakistan in attacks on India, including the voice samples of the control room that handled the 2008 Mumbai attacks, killing 164 people. He said, “We can’t go into Pakistan and pick out the guy whose voice it is; the Pakistan government has to help us do it. So we’re saying either give the guy to us or take action against him.”
Khurshid welcomed the mention of a “new beginning” in India-Pakistan relations by the newly elected Pakistani prime minister. He, however, added that based on its past experiences, India needed to “trust but verify” that Pakistan was serious about peace.
“We need some accountability or at least the beginning of accountability,” Khurshid said. “Only then we can start afresh,” he said.