New York: Expectations of a bilateral meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly have been dashed with a war of words breaking out between the two sides.
Foreign minister S M Krishna on Tuesday slammed his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi over his statement on Kashmir at the United Nations.
"I am genuinely disappointed over the unacceptable references made by the Pakistani Foreign Minister in his address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Pakistan is a country that has enormous internal challenges confronting it, such unsolicited remarks cannot divert attention from the internal problems they are having," Krishna said, speaking at a meeting of the Asiatic Society, soon after Qureshi's speech at the UNGA. (Watch)
Krishna also said Pakistan is trying to "deflect attention" by using "Kashmir as a ploy."
"There is a pattern and the pattern you know is whenever things big are happening in India, they try or in other words distress over takes them and they try to divert people's attention by using Kashmir as a ploy and this is the way they have gone on in the last 60 years."
Speaking at the UNGA, the Pakistan Foreign Minister had raised the issue of Kashmir again.
"The Jammu and Kashmir dispute is about the exercise of the right to self-determination by the Kashmiri people through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices. Pakistan views the prevailing situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir with grave concern," he had said. (Watch)
But India has left the window open for possible talks in New Delhi by extending an invitation to Qureshi for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
"Well we will certainly invite all foreign ministers. We will be delighted to have foreign ministers. And Foreign Minister Qureshi is most welcome to witness some of the Games at least, and there again give us a chance to have, to continue the dialogue," he said.
Sources have told NDTV that India believes that Pakistan has to demonstrate its sincerity in bridging the trust deficit and that action on 26/11 will be the biggest confidence building measure.
Late on Monday night, Qureshi had also said that any talks between the two countries need to be "meaningful."
Pakistan's Foreign Minister had also noted that Islamabad had sent "some suggestions" through diplomatic channels to New Delhi about these talks.
Without going to specific details about these "suggestions," Qureshi had said that he was awaiting a response from the Indian side.
When asked if the suggestions given by Pakistan were conditions for talks, Qureshi told NDTV, "No no, I don't believe in conditions. I don't believe in any preconditions, but the issues that are outstanding are known to everyone." (Watch)
When asked what these issues are, Qureshi replied, "Kashmir is a burning issue. It has been on the negotiating table. It has been on the UN agenda. It has been part of the composite dialogue. And India and Pakistan have agreed to talk about it. Siachen is an issue, it is under discussion."
"What I have been suggesting is that engagement is in the interest of both countries. I am an advocate of good neighbourly and peaceful relations recogonising the fact that there are outstanding issues. We have agreed to resolve them through peaceful means. The way out is engagement, dialogue, consultations," he added.
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Story First Published:September 29, 2010 07:59 IST