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September 2, 2013

India sets conditions for Nawaz-Singh talks

Sports

WD
Web Desk
September 2, 2013

NEW DELHI: India says it will take a decision on possible talks between prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif in New York next month after assessing steps Pakistan takes to address their concerns on recent ‘unacceptable’ incidents.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the government is adopting a wait and watch approach and wants Pakistan’s “civilian government to take responsibility for what has happened and find a methodology to address it to our satisfaction”.
He was asked if after a two-week lull on the Line of Control, the time had come for the government to announce talks between the two prime ministers in New York next month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.
“We are keeping quite on this and watching. I realise that the time is coming for the New York visit. So, obviously call will be taken by the prime minister at an appropriate stage. But we will not hasten it as we do not want to jump the gun.
“I think when a major significant thing goes wrong, many things still remain right but you cannot neglect the major thing that has gone wrong. Decision has to be in the interest of the nation,” he told reporters at New Delhi.
Khurshid said a decision on the issue could be taken after analysing the data available with the government. “We have been watching carefully and you know that such steps that are necessary that are to be taken but let’s stay low. We have to just analyse the information that comes in. We have sources through which information comes about what happens, why it happens and who is taking credit for something that we consider utterly unacceptable,” he said.
There has been uncertainty over if the two leaders will hold talks in New York after the alleged killing of five Indian soldiers on the Line of Control in a “Pakistan Army attack” on August 6 and the recent spurt in ceasefire violations.
Asked what steps India expects Pakistan to take in the next two

weeks to address its concerns, Khurshid said, “What we expect is the civilian government to take responsibility for what has happened and find a methodology to address it to our satisfaction. I think I need not amplify what needs to be done as it is clear what is to be done.”
The external affairs minister said the country can “adjust and accommodate to the speed and the extent of delivery” on Indian concerns by Pakistan but it cannot adjust to its “direction”.
“The direction is very clear is what we seek and what we deserve and what is the right thing to do,” Khurshid said. The minister said that India cannot dictate or suggest things inside Pakistan’s territory and “at the end of the day, we can deal with only elected civilian government there”.
Meanwhile India invited Pakistan for talks on four controversial hydel power projects with capacity to generate more than 2000MW of energy, that it is building on Chenab river.New Delhi has sent a letter to Pakistan proposing September 21-25 for the talks which well informed sources say is the result of back channel diplomacy between special envoys of prime ministers of the two countries.
Shehryar Khan and Lamba met in Dubai last week to exchange views on different contentious issues between the two countries to improve relations. Officials of the Ministry of Water and Power in Lahore said the letter has been written by Indian Indus Water Commissioner to his Pakistani counterpart Asif Baig Mirza. Ministry of Water and Power and Foreign Office are now considering the talks offer.
The projects identified in the letter for talks include 850MW Ratle hydro electro project for which foundation stone was laid on June 25 last , 1000MW Pagil, 850 MW Ratley and 120 MW Mayyar.
According to documents, India is building sixty back to back water cum power projects over Chenab in Himachal Pradesh and occupied Kashmir. Pakistan has exclusive rights over the waters of Chenab river under the Indus Basin Treaty but the document shows that India has chalked out plans to store 20MAF water on Pakistan’s rivers with the purpose to get power out of them and harness the capacity to regulate water releases to Pakistan.
The sources said that India had been refusing to hold meeting of Indus Water Commission during the last four months but now through the letter, Pakistan has been invited for the meeting.