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UNITED NATIONS: Qureshi likely to meet Krishna tomorrow

shah mehmood qurashiUNITED NATIONS: The foreign ministers of Pakistan and India are likely to meet on Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who are participating in the UN General Assembly’s annual debate, met ‘accidentally’ on Friday.

According to sources, Mr Qureshi exchanged pleasantries and thanked Mr Krishna for the help given to Pakistan through the UN for flood-affected people. He also said international response to help Pakistan had accelerated after last Sunday’s UN meeting, the sources said.

The chance encounter was their first interaction since their meeting in Islamabad in July.

The date and time for a formal meeting, about which speculations have been made both in Islamabad and New Delhi, have yet to be agreed upon. But diplomats here told Dawn the meeting would probably take place on Monday.

According to the Indian media, Mr Krishna has indicated New Delhi’s willingness to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including Kashmir. The Indian-held region has witnessed gross human rights violations and killings of more than 100 people over the last few months.

“Well, I was in Islamabad and we did talk and I have invited Excellency Qureshi to come to India and he has very graciously accepted my invitation,” the Indian minister was quoted as saying.

“I am looking forward to hosting him in Delhi… and the dates have to be worked out.”

A Pakistani diplomat, however, said Mr Qureshi had told his Indian counterpart that Islamabad sought a result-oriented meeting, not another photo opportunity.

“Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has made it clear we don’t want a meeting for the sake of photo-op. We want a real substantive meeting,” he said.

At various meetings here, Foreign Minister Qureshi has said that resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue is imperative for South Asian security. He made it clear that Pakistan could not remain silent on the situation in the Indian-held territory.

On Friday, Mr Qureshi called upon the United States to offer its good offices to help Pakistan and India start talks on outstanding issues, including Kashmir.

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