System is fair and effective: Salman Khurshid on Chisti's acquittal

Salman Khurshid

With the Supreme Court acquitting Pakistani national Mohammed Khalil Chishti of murder charge, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday said such "gestures" could contribute to the "sense" between the two neighbours.

"We have to be pleased with the final judgement whether the judgement that convicts or judgement that acquits. I think we have to salute the system. The system is objective, fair, transparent and effective," he said outside Parliament House.

Chishti was today acquitted by the Supreme Court of murder charge in a 20-year-old criminal case and was allowed to return to his native country without any restriction.

However, the apex court declined to interfere with his conviction for voluntarily causing hurt under section 324 of the Indian Penal Code and served him with the sentence already undergone by him in prison.

Asked whether the judgement would help promote goodwill between India and Pakistan, the minister said, "There are little little gestures voluntary or involuntary... that can contribute to the sense between our two countries.

"... When something happens which can contribute to wholesome growth of friendly relationship, I think we should make more solid," he said.

Reacting to another question, he said, "quid pro quo is not a good word" that can be used in the matter as it is a "judicial adjudicated matter".

"I think if it helps move in a particular direction, we should welcome it," the minister said.

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