Krishna meets Qureshi; India rejects backchannel talks offer

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New York:  A day after talks between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan, the Foreign Ministers of the two countries met in New York on Sunday. The meeting lasted nearly two hours.

After the meeting, Krishna addressed the media. He described his meeting with Qureshi as 'useful, candid and constructive'.

"We told Pakistan that India still has serious concerns about terror groups there and underlined the need for concrete and effective steps against these entities," Krishna said.

We also told Pakistan that any meaningful dialogue process needs an environment free from violence, Krishna added.

He also said that the issue of Balochistan did not come up during the meeting.

Despite mentioning that Pakistan has taken some steps against those behind 26/11 attacks, Krishna underlined that a case against Hafiz Saeed also concerns India.

India, however, rejected backchannel talks with Pakistan and said that if a front channel is open, what's the need of backchannel.

Later, addressing mediapersons, the Pakistan's Foreign Minister said that the it was a constructive, frank, honest and positive meeting.

"I minced no words, very clearly spelt out Pak objectives," said Qureshi.

He said issues such as J&K, Siachen, Sir Creeks, Wullar and water were raised during the meeting.

"We cannot confine our discussions to just one issue. We should discuss all issues that form part of composite dialogue," he said.

He further said that Pakistan would start the formal trial in the Mumbai attacks on October 3.

Referring to the rejection of backchannel talks by India, Qureshi said, "If India wants front channel talks, that's a good thing."

The Pakistan Foreign Minister said that he has given India a roadmap for the road forward, with a time frame.

On Saturday, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Bashir Malik held one-on-one talks in New York. The two diplomats discussed the role of Jamaat-ud-Dawaa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed's role in the Mumbai attacks.

The Pakistani side said it needs time to probe Saeed's role in the attack. The two secretaries also reviewed the 26/11 probe in detail.

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