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Decision on Singh-Sharif meeting after assessing Pakistan response

Decision on Singh-Sharif meeting after assessing Pakistan response

New Delhi: India Saturday said it will take a decision on possible talks between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif in New York next month after assessing the steps Pakistan takes to address India's concerns on recent "unacceptable" incidents.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said government is adopting a wait and watch approach and wants Pakistan's "civilian government to take responsibility for what has happened and find a methodology to address it to our satisfaction".

He was asked if after a two-week lull on the Line of Control, the time had come for the government to announce talks between the two Prime Ministers in New York next month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

"No, we are keeping quite on this and watching. I realise that the time is coming for the New York visit. So, obviously call will be taken by the Prime Minister at an appropriate stage. But we will not hasten it as we do not want to jump the gun.

"I think when some one major significant thing goes wrong, many things still remain right but you cannot neglect the major thing that has gone wrong. Decision has to be in the interest of the nation," he told reporters here.

Khurshid said a decision on the issue could be taken after analysing the data available with the Government.

"We have been watching carefully and you know that such steps that are necessary that are to be taken but let's stay low. We have to just analyse the information comes in. We have sources through which information comes about what happens, why it happens and who is taking credit for something that we consider utterly unacceptable," he said.

There has been uncertainty over whether the two leaders will hold talks in New York after the killing of five Indian soldiers on the Line of Control in a Pakistan Army attack on August 6 and the recent spurt in ceasefire violations.

After the incident, the BJP had demanded cancellation of talks with Pakistan on which Defence Minister A K Antony had said the incident will have consequences on India's behaviour and attitude on LoC and ties with Pakistan.

Asked what steps India expects Pakistan to take in the next two weeks to address its concerns, Khurshid said, "What we expect is the civilian government to take responsibility for what has happened and find a methodology to address it to our satisfaction. I think I need not amplify what needs to be done as it is clear what is to be done."

The External Affairs Minister said the country can "adjust and accommodate to the speed and the extent of delivery" on Indian concerns by Pakistan but it cannot adjust to its "direction".

"The direction is very clear is what we seek and what we deserve and what is the right thing to do," Khurshid said.

The Minister said India cannot dictate or suggest things inside their territory and "at the end of the day, we can deal with only elected civilian government there".

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