Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022

No US Pressure

India rejects Pakistani claims of pressure from the US and says Hurriyat should first meet Pant

India today rejected reports suggesting that it had succumbed to pressure from U S for embarking on a Summit meeting with Pakistan, asserting the invitation to President Pervez Musharraf was its "own decision".

"We don't buckle to pressure from anyone," an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told reporters in response to questions.

The decision to invite President Musharraf for the  Summit talks was taken "after our own assessment of the prevailing conditions. It was our own decision," she said.

The rejection comes in the wake of newspaper reports from Islamababad that Musharraf during a meeting with editors yesterday shared an opinion that India invited him for talks following U S pressure.

On Government's decision to permit former chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Maulvi Umar Farooq to attend the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Foreign Ministers Meet in Mali, the spokesperson said this would not impact in any manner on dialogue between India and Pakistan or the ongoing talks between the Centre's interlocutor and Kashmiri groups.

Government has made it clear that the Hurriyat should first talk to it instead of pressing for inclusion in the bilateral talks between the two countries

Vikas Singh's case taken up with Pakistan

India has taken up with Pakistan the case of Vikas Singh who was arrested for entering the country earlier this year, as part of his globe-trotting peace mission, without valid documents, it was officially stated today. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad has sought consular access "but we have not received any satisfactory response to our request from Pakistan", an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told reporters.

Lucknow-based Singh, who entered Pakistan through Afghanistan after travelling 62 countries in 14 years, is now under detention in a Peshawar jail. 

The Indian mission first contacted Pakistan Foreign Office on February two with a request that a visa be given to Vikas who was stranded on Pakistan-Afghanistan border for three weeks and that he had exhausted all financial resources. This request was repeated on April four, the spokesperson said. 

News of his arrest was published in Pakistani newspapers on April 23. Four days later, Indian mission officials took up the matter with the Pakistan Foreign Office explaining to them that Vikas was on a world tour to spread the message of peace. A request was made for consular access. The issue was taken up with the Director General of South Asia in the Pakistan Foreign Office on May 16 which was followed up with a note verbale on June two.