Krishna refuses to comment on Pillai remarks

      Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Friday refused to offer a comment on a media view that he had failed to defend Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai soon after his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi had criticized the official for a statement on the ISI's purported role in the 26/11 attack. Asked by ANI whether he could have given a befitting response to Qureshi's diatribe, Krishna said: "We both (Qureshi and he) have agreed that his (Pillai's) statement was uncalled for. We will not go into those details. Whatever is said is on record." Krishna was referring to the last question of the press conference, where Foreign Minister Qureshi was asked to react to Jamaat-ud-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed's anti-India tirade. Qureshi started off with a measured response, calling for an end to negative propaganda on both sides, but then changed tack, and took potshots at Indian officialdom. He said: "When you point out to Saeed's speech, or speeches, let me draw your attention to the Indian Home Secretary's (G.K. Pillai) statement. The dialogue which was reported in all Pakistani papers.. Tell me, to what extent it has helped? We were of the opinion that it was uncalled for." In effect, Qureshi equated Pillai with Saeed. It maybe recalled that Pillai had cited the information provided by accused Lashkar-e-Toiba recruit David C Headley regarding the involvement of Pakistan's spy agency - the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) -- and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed in the 26/11 attack during his interrogation in Chicago by FBI and Indian investigators. He said that India was of the view that from the beginning of the 26/11 attack to its end, the ISI had had a significant role to play. Pakistan expressed disappointment with the statement.

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