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India `should call off Pakistan talks`: opposition

July 16, 2010

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna talks to media upon his arrival at Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Wednesday. - AP Photo

NEW DELHI India's main opposition demanded the government pull out of faltering peace talks with Pakistan on Friday and said a meeting between foreign ministers from the countries had achieved nothing.

India's Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi met Thursday for the third high-level talks between the countries in a six-month thaw in relations.

New Delhi broke off peace talks with Islamabad after the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead. India blamed militants based in Pakistan for the atrocity.

India's main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been opposed to the new attempts at dialogue from the start and senior leaders called them “talks for the sake of talks.”

“India should call off the talks now,” leader of the parliamentary party, Sushma Swaraj, told the Times Now newschannel. “The government should rethink, they should not engage in a dialogue if Pakistan continues this attitude.”

The Indian media has focused on heated comments by Qureshi at a final press conference between the ministers in which he slammed Indias home secretary for comments he made on the eve of the talks.

Home Secretary G.K. Pillai accused Pakistans intelligence agency of controlling and coordinating the Mumbai attacks.

“I would like to ask what is the meaning of a dialogue when India gets nothing,” said former foreign minister and senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh.

“If we are not finding any purpose then we should call off the talks,” he added. - AFP