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Indian FM denies calling Pakistan President
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08:31, December 08, 2008

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Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Sunday denied he had made a call to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and expressed worry that "a neighboring state might even consider acting on the basis of such a call ".

Mukherjee said in a statement released by the Indian External Affairs Ministry website Sunday noon.

"I have seen several misleading stories about a hoax telephone call from me to President Zardari of Pakistan," he said.

"We were informed by friends from third countries that Pakistan President Zardari believed that he had received a threatening telephone call from me on 28 November, after the attack on Mumbai. We immediately clarified to those friends, and we also made it clear to the Pakistan authorities, that I had made no such telephone call.

"My last and only conversation with President Zardari was in Islamabad during my May 2008 visit to Pakistan. The only telephone conversation that I have had with a Pakistani leader since the attack on Mumbai was on the evening of November 28 when I spoke tothe Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who was then in New Delhi," the Minister said.

Media reports in Islamabad had said that a "threatening" phone call was made to President Zardari by someone from Delhi who posed as Mukherjee, following which Pakistan put its forces on high alert, the Indo-Asian News Service Sunday reported.

Pakistan Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman on Saturday said that the government of Pakistan condemns efforts aimed at using the media for negative diplomacy as tensions between Pakistan and India are running high.


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