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Manmohan's remark unacceptable, says Pak

Apparently irked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's blunt message to President Asif Ali Zardari in front of media that Pakistan should not allow its soil for terrorism against India, Islamabad today said his remarks were "unacceptable". Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan said Singh's comments made during his meeting with Zardari in Russia yesterday were unacceptable to Islamabad.

world Updated: Jun 17, 2009 21:32 IST

Apparently irked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's blunt message to President Asif Ali Zardari in front of media that Pakistan should not allow its soil for terrorism against India, Islamabad today said his remarks were "unacceptable".

In a statement made in the Senate or Upper House of Parliament, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan said Singh's comments made during his meeting with Zardari in Russia yesterday were unacceptable to Islamabad.

During yesterday's meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Russia, Singh told Zardari: "I am extremely happy to meet you, but my mandate is limited to telling you that the territory of Pakistan must not be allowed to be used for terrorism against India."

Khan said Pakistan had asked the Indian government not to resort to "aggressive media statements" and clear the air by talking directly with Pakistan instead of using the media. "I would still ask India to come to talks as engagements would be fruitful rather than estrangements," he said.

Pakistan will never allow any force to use its soil for terrorist activities directed against any country,he said.

"During the past six months, Indian officials uttered some inappropriate statements about their certain reservations which were totally against diplomatic norms," Khan said.

Khan said that Zardari too raised Pakistan's concerns regarding "Indian interference" in the country's internal affairs and forcefully presented Islamabad's point of view on issues of concerns with New Delhi during the meeting.

Opposition PML-Q Senator Jamal Leghari raised a point of order on Singh's remark and said it should be condemned by the house.

However, Khan told reporters that Pakistan was hopeful there would be follow up ministerial-level meetings between the two countries in the wake of the meeting between Zardari and Singh.

There were possibilities for resumption of bilateral talks after the Indian elections and the meeting between the two leaders was a step forward, he said.