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India brushes off Balochistan report

Dismissive of reports in the Pakistani media about a dossier given to India about its alleged role in fomenting trouble in Balochistan and in the Lahore terror attack, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Thursday that New Delhi does not react to such speculation.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2009 11:01 IST

Dismissive of reports in the Pakistani media about a dossier given to India about its alleged role in fomenting trouble in Balochistan and in the Lahore terror attack, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Friday that New Delhi does not react to such speculation.

"The government of India does not react to media reports and speculation. If there is anything to it, let them take it officially," Krishna told reporters while returning from the Thai resort Phuket.

He was responding to a question on a report in the Pakistani daily Dawn.

The report quoted Pakistani official sources suggesting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to the mention of Balochistan in the joint statement after his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani confronted him in Sharm-el-Sheikh with a dossier detailing India's covert activities in the resource-rich volatile province of Balochistan.

The report also alleged that India was responsible for the attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team and the Manawan police academy in Lahore.

Top government sources rubbished the report, saying such a manouvre does not bode well for India-Pakistan relations, which the leaders of the two countries are trying to put back on track after the suspension of the composite dialogue in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.

Reacting to media reports suggesting that the Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have launched concerted efforts to be involved in talks with India, Krishna said it was for the Pakistan government to decide.

Krishna, however, underlined the need for greater intelligence sharing between the two countries to prevent future terror attacks.

"The intelligence apparatus of the government of India has its own methodology. We should share intelligence whenever it's in the greater interest of the nation," he said when asked whether there has been any intelligence-sharing between India and Pakistan after the Mumbai attack.

"Terror has to be fought on every front," Krishna stressed.

Krishna also stressed the need for a collective regional approach to combating terrorism and drew attention to India's "terror-infested neighbourhood" while addressing the 16th annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held at Thai island resort Phuket.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was among 27 ministers invited to the ARF - Asia's biggest security gathering.

Krishna and Qureshi exchanged greetings at the ARF meet, but decided to hold talks in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, an arrangement that was agreed to at the Sharm-el-Sheikh summit.