Narayanasamy rules out formal talks with Pak PM on private visit to India

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 09, 2013 09:50 hrs

Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V. Narayanasamy on Saturday ruled out any formal talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who is presently on a day-long personal visit to India to offer prayers at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah.

"It is their decision. As far as our Foreign Minister is concerned, as a diplomacy he is receiving them. No talks will be held that's what the Foreign Affairs Minister has said, he will host him lunch and when he comes for the prayer in dargah, the Pakistan Prime Minister he will have a prayer and then he will go," said Narayanasamy, when asked that the dargah dewan of Ajmer shrine, Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, has said that he would not assist the Pakistani Prime Minister in prayers as a mark of protest over the mutilation of the bodies of the two Indian soldiers.

"The honourable Prime Minister has also said that there will be no formal talks with Pakistan because lot of terrorism is escalating from their side," he added.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who hosted lunch for the visiting dignitary at the Rambhagh Palace hotel in Jaipur, drew sharp criticism from the leaders of various opposition parties and defence experts over his move.

The dargah dewan of Ajmer shrine earlier on Friday said that he was opposed to the visit by the Pakistani Prime Minister in the wake of the January 2013 beheading of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I will not welcome or be present during his visit to the Dargah. The inhuman manner in which Indian soldiers were treated by the Pakistan Army is despicable and condemned it in the strongest of words. It will be a dishonour to the families of the Indian soldiers who were beheaded by their (Pakistan) army," he told media in Ajmer.

Ashraf is the first Pakistani leader to visit India after the brutal beheading of two Indian jawans along the LoC by the Pakistani troops in January this year.

Ashraf will fly from Jaipur to Ajmer in a helicopter. He will return to Jaipur in the evening and leave for Islamabad. Elaborate security arrangements have been made in and around the shrine keeping in view the Pakistani Prime Minister's visit.

On the eve of the Ashraf's visit, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made it clear that normalisation of relations with Pakistan cannot take place unless the terror infrastructure there is dismantled.

Dr. Singh said India has made sincere efforts to normalise its relations with Pakistan.

"We have achieved some progress in this regard, people-to-people contacts have gone up, trade relations have shown improvement. But there cannot be normalisation of relations between our two countries, unless and until the terror machine, which is still active in Pakistan, is not brought under control," he added, while replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in Rajya Sabha yesterday.

The dialogue process between the two Asian neighbours was impacted by ceasefire violations on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in January this year with India lodging a strong protest over the brutal killing of two of its soldiers in the Poonch sector. (ANI)

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