Home > Article > And now Krishna clears ISI of terror charges in India

And now Krishna clears ISI of terror charges in India


— disapproves Home Secy’s remark on ISI’s role in Mumbai attacks

— snubs Pillai over irresponsible statement

From Christina Palmer

NEW DELHI—Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Wednesday rued that home secretary G K Pillai’s remarks about the role of the ISI in 26/11 attack were made on the eve of his talks with Pakistan.

“Mr Pillai could have waited till I came back to issue a statement. Perhaps it would have been wiser if that statement had not been made just on the eve of my visit,” Krishna said in an interview to a television channel, making public his displeasure with Pillai for the first time.

Pillai had commented that the Mumbai carnage of November 28, 2008, was planned by the ISI “from beginning to end”. “When two foreign ministers are meeting after the Mumbai attack, there was a special significance for this meeting,” Krishna said.

“Everyone who was privy to whatever was happening in government of India ought to have known that the right kind of atmosphere from India’s side should have been created for the talks to go on in a very normal manner, but unfortunately this episode happened,” he added.

“Well, I have had some discussions with the prime minister,” Krishna replied when asked if he had conveyed his dissatisfaction over Pillai’s remarks to the prime minister.

After his talks with Krishna in Islamabad on July 15, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said at a joint press conference that the remarks made by India’s home secretary were not “helpful” for better relations when a journalist asked him about Pakistan’s action against Hafeez Saeed, the suspected mastermind of the Mumbai attack.

The next day, Krishna told reporters in Delhi that there was no comparison with Saeed and Pillai as the former was crying jihad against India.

Krishna’s criticism of Pillai has brought out in the open differences of perception within the government over engagement with Pakistan. At a seminar in New Delhi on Tuesday, Menon had endorsed Pillai’s remarks by pointing out links between the official establishment and the existing intelligence agencies. Krishna, however, was also critical of Qureshi’s abrasive style in his interaction with the media.

“We should understand the spirit of Thimphu and spirit of Thimphu was to make earnest effort to bring about reconciliation between two countries and I do not want that spirit to be eroded even by a remotest possible way,” he said.

“I think we can put forward any contention that a country can face in a most forceful way but there has to be dignity, there has to be civility and civility is certainly no weakness,” he added.

Even when Krishna was in Islamabad on July 16, Qureshi held a press conference with Pakistani journalists and criticised India for its selectively focusing on terror and sidelining other vital bilateral issues like Kashmir.

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