New Delhi, Jul 14: India today said the Foreign Minister-level talks with Pakistan will take place as scheduled, a day after the Mumbai blasts which, it said, were a “grim reminder” that terror was a “continued” threat to the country.
“They are (on schedule). There is no change in the scheduled visits of (US) Secretary (Hillary) Clinton or the Foreign Minister of Pakistan,” External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters when asked whether the India-Pakistan Foreign Minister-level talks were on schedule. He condemned the “dastardly and heinous attacks on Mumbai” and said that the State will do everything within its power to bring the guilty to justice at the earliest. “This is yet another grim reminder to everyone in this region and our country that terror is a continuing threat to India and it is necessary for all Indians to be ever vigilant of these terrorist attacks,” he said.
“I condemn these dastardly and heinous attacks on Mumbai where precious lives were lost and a number of our brothers and sisters are injured. I join the nation in mourning the deaths and conveying heartfelt condolences to members of the bereaved families,” he said. Krishna was interacting with the media on the sidelines of his talks with Burhanuddin Rabbani, Chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan. Krishna is expected to hold talks with the Pakistan Foreign Minister towards the end of this month to review the progress of the bilateral peace process that was revived earlier this year.
Ahead of the ministerial talks, the foreign secretaries of the two countries are expected to hold discussions. Krishna's remarks come in the backdrop of three serial bomb blasts in Mumbai last evening that left 18 people dead and 81 injured.
Rabbani, also a former Afghanistan President, expressed sincere condolences on the innocent lives lost in the Mumbai blasts.
“Allow me to express sincere condolences to the precious lives lost in Mumbai. I think this is also an indication that there people of Afghanistan and the people of the region are victims of the violence that has spread throughout the region,” Rabbani said.
Noting that terrorism was not limited to one nation or one country, he said, “It is now a big threat to the countries in the region and the wider global community”. Rabbani said military was not the only solution to overcome the violence and extremism. “We have to find a political process to overcome the difficulty of terrorism,” he said.
The former Afghan president said he believed that Afghans should not be used against Afghans. “They should not be victims in the hands of others to be used against our own people,” he said and stressed on the role of regional countries in promoting peace in Afghanistan. Rabbani underlined several initiatives taken by India for development of various sectors like education, infrastructure and agriculture in his war-ravaged country. “We attach high importance to the efforts of the Government of India to promote peace in the region,” he said. PTI