‘We gave a clarification that there won’t be death sentence’
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid speaks on the Italian marines issue, Pakistan and other issues during Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts:
You got the Italian marines back from Italy.
We didn’t get them, they came back.
You gave a guarantee that the marines would not be sentenced to death.
No, we gave a clarification that this case does not fall in the category of the rarest of the rare. Hence, there is no chance of a death sentence.
This is the guarantee that you gave.
No guarantee but a clarification.
If government gives a clarification, it means you took over judiciary’s role.
Judiciary takes a decision, we read it, and we understand what our law is.
They demanded a special court. You gave a guarantee on that too.
Supreme Court said. They did not say it.
Supreme Court said, but they said that it should be constituted fast, but you are not able to do that for the past two months.
What is the problem in saying that the courts should be constituted early?
On issue of Italy you are tough. Why do you go soft on the issue of Pakistan? Dialogue with Pakistan is still on.
Not at all, we did not even stop dialogue with Italy. Hence, we are on this position today. Nobody in the world benefits by stalling dialogue.
Let them behead our soldiers, but you will not stall dialogue.
There is no question of them beheading, how can they do that? But it should be seen in the right perspective, with a balanced view.
But Pakistan is not stopping. You asked them to stop terror camps, they did not. You told them to hand over 20 people, they did not even one.
It would be unfair to say that we have not succeeded in any issue regarding Pakistan. We have gained success in many areas.
But why foreign countries should interfere in our internal affairs?
You want war?
To save country if you have to go to war, why wouldn’t you? If they keep on killing 5,000 to 10,000 of your people.
Will you kill 10,000 people to save two people? That is why diplomacy exists, to achieve your goal without suffering losses and I have been given the responsibility for it.
You will keep on having a dialogue with Pakistan?
Prime Minister said that it would not be business as usual and business as usual stopped.
Many things have stopped, hockey stopped somewhere, somewhere cricket stopped, somewhere visa stopped, many things have stopped. And when will we move ahead will be on the directions of the Prime Minister.