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Pak fabricating evidence on Balochistan: Krishna
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 (IANS):
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Published on 3 Dec. 2009 10:59 PM IST
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The controversial Sharm el-Sheikh joint statement resurfaced in Parliament on Thursday with India rejecting Pakistan’s “unfounded” accusation of fomenting insurgency in Balochistan and saying that Islamabad was “fabricating evidence”. India also made it clear that the stalled dialogue could resume only after Islamabad moves in “a transparent manner” against the 26/11 perpetrators. “Two statements of the Pakistani foreign minister read together make it evident that Pakistan is fabricating evidence (of India’s alleged role in Balochistan),” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha. “Not even a shred of evidence has been received so far,” he added. On Aug 7, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmod Qureshi had said that evidence of India’s involvement in Balochistan would be disclosed through diplomatic channels at the right time. On Nov 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”. “Government has seen reports attributed to Pakistan’s prime minister, foreign minister and interior minister alleging Indian interference in Balochistan. Government has firmly rejected such reports as being unfounded,” Krishna said in reply to a question on whether India was aware of such reports and its response to them. Alluding to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent remarks in Washington about India posing no threat to Pakistan, Krishna said: “The Prime Minister has said we believe in a stable and prosperous Pakistan living in peace with its neighbours is in India’s interests. We fully stand by this.” “The Prime Minister has said we have no interest in destabilising Pakistan,” the minister maintained. Krishna, however, dodged a question by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajiv Pratap Rudy on whether the reference to Balochistan in the joint declaration after the meeting between Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza 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 pointed question to the prime minister is how did the word Balochistan figure in the Sharm el-Sheikh declaration?” Rudy asked in a supplementary. Krishna said: “This question has twice been answered in this house. The Prime Minister has made a detailed statement of how it happened. India’s stand is an open book and we stand committed to that statement.” Manmohan Singh, who was present in the house throughout question hour, silently sat through the proceedings. Balochistan is a resource-rich province in Pakistan’s southwest. Several local groups are demanding a greater say in decision making and natural resources, which they allege are not being used for the development of the province. Pakistan has been accusing India of supporting insurgency in Pakistan. India has rejected such allegations several times in the past as well. The reference to Balochistan in the July 16 joint statement had sparked a huge uproar in Parliament with the opposition BJP attacking the government for capitulation to Pakistan over the issue of cross-border terror. Replying to a supplementary, Krishna reiterated New Delhi’s firm position about no talks till Pakistan takes action against 26/11 culprits. “The talks for the time being are suspended. Unless Pakistan moves in a transparent manner to bring to book the perpetrators of the Mumbai, till then, we are not in a position to resume the composite dialogue process. “On the sidelines of international events, we do meet Pakistani representatives but we will stick to the statement of the Prime Minister (on resuming the dialogue only after Pakistan acts against the Mumbai perpetrators),” Krishna said. India suspended the composite dialogue process in the wake of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai mayhem that was masterminded and executed by Pakistani terrorists.

 
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