Putting the onus of resumption of dialogue on India, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said he was ready to meet his Indian counterpart SM Krishna anywhere at anytime and was even willing to fly back to New York on Thursday if he has time. “If he (Krishna) has time, I can fly back to New York tomorrow (for talks),” Qureshi, who arrived here from New York, said.
His comments came after Krishna said there was no meeting on the cards between him and Qureshi on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.
There was intense speculation that Krishna and Qureshi will meet in New York, but it did not come through after the Pakistan Minister raked up the Kashmir issue during his UN address.
Qureshi said the onus for the resumption of the peace talks is on India as it is New Delhi, which has to respond to the last message sent by him to India through diplomatic channels.
Responding to questions after his remarks on current humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, Qureshi said Pakistan wants to engage with India.
“Pakistan wants to engage. Pakistan wants to be constructive vis a vis India, because we feel that normalisation (of Indo-Pak relationship) is in our mutual interest.
“We feel that if we do not normalise, South Asia is going to suffer. Both of us have challenges, economic challenges, poverty and others… and if we can work out a better relationship both of us would gain. This is a view of the political democratic government of Pakistan,” he said.
“In New York, I was there. I am ready to meet him anywhere anytime on all outstanding issues… we have issues. We have agreed to the resolution of those issues through a peaceful negotiated dialogue. I was willing to meet him in New York. They (Indian officials) had to come back (to us),” Qureshi said.
“Ask him (Krishna), what happened to the diplomatic channels? Ask him (Krishna) what was the last message sent? It was for them to respond and get in touch with us. I am willing to talk. I am willing meet. And if he has time, I can fly back to New York tomorrow (for talks), if he is ready for that,” the Pak Foreign Minister said in response to a question.
Responding to a question on Krishna’s statement at the General Assembly that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism inside Kashmir, Qureshi claimed that the Indian parliament, intelligentsia, media and policymakers are saying that the protests in Kashmir is an “indigenous” movement.