Change in Pakistan won’t affect talks: India

June 20th, 2012 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) As Pakistan prepares for a new prime minister, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Wednesday said the change in leadership will not affect India’s dialogue process with the neighbouring country.

“We are closely monitoring developments in Pakistan. Whatever happens, it will not affect talks,” Krishna told reporters here when asked about whether the change change in leadership in Pakistan will affect the dialogue process between the two countries.

Krishna’s remarks came hours ahead of a meeting of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Islamabad Wednesday evening to select the new prime minister of the country.

Pakistan’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, will formally elect the new prime minister at a special session to be convened Friday.

Textiles Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar are strong contenders for the post.

The Supreme Court Tuesday had ruled that Yousaf Raza Gilani stood disqualified as prime minister as well as member of parliament since the apex court’s April 26 verdict holding him in contempt of court for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

India is keeping a close eye on political upheavals in Pakistan as the change in leadership is happening at a time when the two countries are on the verge of completing the dialogue process which they revived in February last year after a hiatus of more than two years following the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani is expected to come to India and hold talks with his Indian counterpart Ranjan Mathai to set the stage for External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s trip to Islamabad, likely mid-July.

New Delhi will be closely watching the profile of the new prime minister as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is known to have forged good equations with Gilani that helped revive the dialogue process after the 26/11 freeze.

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