BJP MP Ram Jethmalani on Thursday praised S.M. Krishna in the Rajya Sabha, upsetting the party’s efforts to corner the External Affairs Minister for not speaking out against his Pakistan counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Qureshi had compared home secretary G.K. Pillai with 26/11 plotter Hafiz Saeed during talks in Islamabad last month.
BJP members, including Venkaiah Naidu and S.S. Ahluwalia, criticised Krishna for not defending Pillai “then.”
Krishna stood his ground on his “reservation” about the timing while praising the “seasoned, experienced, consummate” home secretary. He said he preferred to reject the comparison from Qureshi with the “contempt it deserved.”
However, Jethmalani, while asking a supplementary question, lavished fulsome praise on Krishna for showing “dignity” in the face of Qureshi’s remarks and said his “demeanour” displayed the cultural and “civilisational superiority” of India.
Responding to Jethmalani, Krishna said he would be happy to meet him in private to discuss the “broader agreements arrived at the last foreign minister-level talks”.
On the eve of Krisha’s visit to Pakistan from July 14 to 16 , Pillai had said that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was behind the Mumbai attacks “from the beginning till the very end.”
Krishna told the Rajya Sabha that India was ready to discuss everything with Pakistan but asked its neighbour to rein in jihadis whose anti-India propaganda was not helping in bridging trust deficit.
“We want a step-by-step approach... Therefore we are willing to discuss everything with Pakistan,” he said.