India rejects Pakistan’s call for third party mediation

February 23rd, 2010 - 7:23 pm ICT by ANI  

By Praful Kumar Singh

New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday rejected Pakistan’s demand for third party mediation in Indo-Pak disputes.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is in Beijing, called for Chinese mediation ahead of the Indo-Pak foreign secretaries meet in New Delhi, starting on February 25.

Qureshi said that Pakistan has urged China to mediate between Islamabad and New Delhi as a third party, and asked India not to keep terror as the focus of the talks.

Speaking at the felicitation ceremony for scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) during the 34th directors conference, Antony said: “We are not in favour of involvement of any third country in talks between India and Pakistan.”

“India’s basic policy is that we don’t want any interference from any country in our bilateral relations with Pakistan. We don’t believe in third party mediation,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Antony said the issue of the beheading of two Sikhs in Peshawar would be taken up during the foreign secretary-level talks.

Antony said: “Anyway we are talking to the foreign secretary on February 25, certainly we will take up the issue with foreign secretary also.”

The Pakistani Taliban kidnapped two men, identified as Jaspal Singh and Mahal Singh, along with two others a month ago from Bara in the Khyber Agency. A ransom of 30 million rupees was demanded for their safe return.

India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will meet her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir to try and end a diplomatic freeze between the two nations after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. (ANI)

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