India ready to resolve all outstanding issues with Pak: Krishna

Friday, January 7, 2011

NEW DELHI - External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna on Friday said India is ready to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan through a peaceful dialogue.

He said that India has urged Pakistan to not to allow militant activities from their soil.

“With Pakistan, Prime Minister has repeatedly said that we stand ready to resolve our outstanding issues through a peaceful dialogue. We expect Pakistan to fulfill its repeated assurances given to us at the highest level to not to allow the territory under its control for…terrorism against us,” said Krishna.

Talking about the import of onions, Krishna said that India is in continuous talks with Pakistan to solve the issue.

“I think we have initiated talks and before not too long, we are hopeful that we will find a solution to this problem,” he added.

Pakistan called for a complete ban of export of onions to India through the Wagah border on Wednesday after complaints that exports to India had caused a sharp spike in onion prices in Pakistan

This ban had come as a huge setback to India, now dependent on onion imports from Pakistan at this time of shortage, which has propelled skyrocketing prices of the vegetable.

Further talking about militancy, Krishna said that India is in talks with its partners for improving the sharing of information.

“Fortunately, there is increasing realization today in the international arena that terrorism threatens the peace and security of the entire planet. India is working closely with her partners for improving sharing of information, countering terror, finance and building capacity in our terror mechanisms,” he added.

Commenting on the ongoing controversy surrounding the Bofors scam, Krishna said the government would process the case as it proceeds.

“Well, the issues of extradition are an issue taken by the concerned ministry. So, as and when things happen, we are willing to process it,” he said.

An income tax tribunal in its order issued earlier indicated how much money Italian businessman Quattrocchi and Win Chaddha were paid by Bofors as bribes.

The kickbacks violated rules, as a middleman is illegal in defence deals in India. Therefore, Quattrocchi and Chaddha are liable to pay income tax on bribe money they got while living in India.

It also claimed that due to the kickbacks, India had to pay almost Rs. 160 crore extra for the guns.

The Bofors scandal was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s. The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and several others were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB who were awarded the contract for the supply of 155 mm field howitzers.

The scale of the corruption was far worse than any that India had seen before, and contributed to the defeat of Rajiv Gandhi”s ruling Indian National Congress party in the November 1989 general elections. (ANI)

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