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MHA, MEA at loggerheads?

delhi Updated: Jul 22, 2010 22:58 IST

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In the wake of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's criticism of Home Secretary G K Pillai, questions have cropped up whether the two ministries were at loggerheads over Pakistan.

Wading into the row, BJP said there were "palpable differences" between the two Ministries and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was keeping quiet on the issue.

Close on the heels of reports that the MEA was kept in the dark on interrogation details of Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley, Home Ministry sources rubbished these as untrue.

They said Home Minister P Chidambaram had briefed the Cabinet Committee on Security, where Krishna was present, on the interrogation report of Headley before visiting Pakistan for the SAARC Interior Minister's conference last month.

Krishna was present in the meeting and copies of the interrogation report were sent to all concerned, including NSA Shivshankar Menon, the sources said.

Besides, the sources said, India's High Commissioner to Pakistan and a "note taker" from Islamabad mission were present in all but one meetings that Indian delegation had with Pakistan when Chidambarm visited that country last month.

"Except the one-on-one meeting between Home Minister Chidambaram and Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, in all the other meetings the High Commissioner and a 'note taker' from the mission were present. So they are privy to all information that the delegation discussed with Pakistan," the sources said.

They said last week's Foreign Minister-level talks between India and Pakistan was heading nowhere as the Pakistan Army did not want them to succeed.

Expressing dismay over these developments, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has spoken again... We want to remind Krishna that there is a thin line between sobriety and submission and we regret to say that he has transgressed this line."

Prasad said the UPA administration "cannot speak in one voice.. Why cannot they have this discipline?"