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Don’t set us terms, Hina Rabbani Khar tells India

world Updated: Sep 08, 2012 01:21 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Friday said Islamabad was keen to host Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but the visit shouldn’t be set on conditions.

“We have given strong signals we are keen on the Indian PM’s visit. (But) We don’t believe in conditional diplomacy,” Khar said in an exclusive interview . She was reacting to a question on the Indian position that Singh’s Pakistan trip should have the “right atmosphere” and a “suitable outcome”.

“Engagement at the leadership level will give a serious momentum to the dialogue process and help us move closer to resolving some key issues,” Khar said.

Khar recounted how Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari took just “moments” and former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani a “few hours” to respond to invites from New Delhi. While Zardari met Singh during his private visit to Ajmer in April, Gilani came to Mohali last year to watch the India- Pakistan World Cup match.

On the 26/11 attacks, Khar said the Pakistani courts would decide if the evidence given by India was strong enough to bring the attackers to justice. “The authority to take a look at the evidence, like in India or any country, is the judiciary,” she said.

The minister urged India to stand by the 1989 proposal of resolving the Siachen dispute —based on redeployment of troops, avoiding use of force and fixing future ground position within the Simla Agreement. She said Pakistan was not making resolution of the Sir Creek issue conditional to resolving the Siachen problem.

External affairs minister SM Krishna shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar at a meeting in Islamabad. PTI Photo

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