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Krishna, Qureshi shake hands, but no meeting

world Updated: Jan 29, 2010 00:56 IST

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External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday shook hands on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan, but there was no meeting between the two.

Coming face-to-face at the summit hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Krishna and Qureshi shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. The two last met in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September, 2009.

"We shook hands. We just said hello (to each other) but no political dialogue," Qureshi told reporters at the end of the summit.

Asked whether he would meet Krishna during his stay here, he said: "I have no plans to meet Krishna. I had given him a crisp proposal and roadmap for the future. He said he will get back. He has not got back."

Qureshi said the Indian polity is "divided and confused" on the issue of engaging with Pakistan.

"India is in a dilemma whether to engage with Pakistan or shy away. Unfortunately there is a dichotomy in the public stand of Indian Foreign policy which is different from the private stand," he said.

The foreign minister also claimed that some "people in India admit privately that the assistance provided by Pakistan to India on 26/11 attacks are unprecedented. They even acknowledge the dossiers (on the Mumbai strikes). There is a lack of political agreement in India on foreign policy (towards Pakistan)."

Asked about Pakistani players being left out in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Qureshi said sports lovers will miss "quality players" from Pakistan.

"What a faux pa? I am glad that some saner people in India have also ridiculed the decision of the IPL. Sports lovers will miss quality players from Pakistan," he said.

Asked about reports of some Pakistani players expressing desire to play in the IPL, Qureshi said he was not sure about their decisions.

"I am not sure about their decisions. IPL will suffer for the lack of interest in selecting quality players from Pakistan," he said.