Pakistan foreign minister cuts short India visit

November 29th, 2008 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) Distressed over widespread charges of involvement of Pakistan in the Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi cut short his four-day visit to India and abruptly left for Islamabad Saturday morning.Qureshi was scheduled to meet Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani, Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, at 10.30 am Friday, but had to cancel his appointment due to a cabinet meeting in Islamabad later in the day, Pakistan embassy sources said.

He was earlier scheduled to go to Lahore in the evening.

Qureshi, who started his visit to India Wednesday on a positive note, was “quite upset” about what he saw as India’s “insinuations” pointing to the involvement of Pakistan-based terrorists in audacious terror strikes at in Mumbai that has killed over 150 people and left over 300 injured, diplomatic sources said.

Hours after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee blamed “some elements in Pakistan” for the terror strikes in Mumbai, Qureshi Friday condemned the “barbaric, inhuman attack” and offered cooperation “at every level” with New Delhi. He also warned against “playing politics” with the terror attacks and said the two countries needed “to turn the tide of confrontation to cooperation.”

“The Indian government should have pondered more, reflected more before coming to a conclusion,” he said.

He, however, acknowledged that there could be “rogue elements” in Pakistan who would be working to create a wedge between the two neighbours.

“We cannot rule out anything,” he said.

Mukherjee rang up Qureshi Friday evening in the middle of his press interaction with women journalsits of India and impressed upon him the need for Pakistan to take immediate action over the terrorist attacks on Mumbai. He also reminded Islamabad to honour its pledge not to allow its territory to be used for terror attacks against India.

In a curious coincidence, terrorists targeted ten sites in Mumbai minutes after Mukherjee and Qureshi held talks in New Delhiand agreed to wage a joint fight against terrorism.

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