Indo-Pak composite dialogue process stalled due to Mumbai terror strikes

November 30th, 2008 - 1:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Islamabad, Nov 30 (ANI): The Mumbai terror attacks seem to have stalled the Indo-Pak peace process, as the Secretary-level meetings on Sir Creek, which were scheduled for December 2-3, and the talks on Wullar and water issues in Islamabad stand cancelled.

The meeting of India-Pakistan Joint Commission on Environment was also called off, though there are chances that an emergency meeting of the Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism might take place, reported the Daily Times.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshis pre-arranged meetings in New Delhi were cancelled in the light of Indias anguish over Pakistans suspected role, and he left for Islamabad early on Saturday morning.

According to the paper, Qureshi tried to call on Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, but Singh as well as leaders of Opposition had no time for him. His meeting with the Left leaders over breakfast on Saturday was also cancelled, added the paper.

Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who was recently invited by the Pakistan High Commission to meet Qureshi, was placed under house arrest in Srinagar.

With five states witnessing elections, no Indian leaders wanted to be photographed with a Pakistani leader, said the paper.

Earlier, speaking at the Indian Womens Press Club on Friday night, Qureshi said that he did not cut short his visit, as he wanted to lend support to India. He said he wanted to convey such sentiments to the Indian prime minister and the leader of the opposition. But if I am not able to meet them due to their engagements, I want to convey my sentiments to them through the media, he added.

In the middle of the press conference, he got a call from Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, said the paper and added: The reporters were amused as Qureshi tried to request Mukherjee to wait for the press conference to finish, but Mukherjee insisted on talking right away. Qureshi stood up and an adjacent room was vacated for him to talk to his Indian counterpart. Although he tried to downplay the phone call and put up a brave face, his spirits seemed clearly dampened. (ANI)

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