In Kashmir, Krishna praises Pakistan
‘Acrimonious Debates Won’t Yield Anything’
Srinagar, July 26: Union Minister for External Affairs, S M Krishna Thursday praised Islamabad’s approach to build relationship with New Delhi and underlined both countries should realize “acrimonious debates” would not yield anything.
“It is consistent policy of India to engage Pakistan,” said Krishna. “I am looking forward to my visit to Pakistan in September.”
Krishna was here to inaugurate Passport Seva Kendras and to participate in foundation stone laying ceremony of Passport Bhavan, at SKICC.
He said Pakistan Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, during her New Delhi visit last year was “quite candid and quite frank” on Indo-Pak relationship. Quoting Hina, Krishna said there is “change in mindset of Pakistan” towards relationship with India. “She didn’t repeat it in meeting only but before media,” Krishna said.
In his speech, Krishna referred to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that India can choose its friends but not its neighbors.
“When you have neighbors, sometimes it is difficult to make them see the things in same way you see them,” Krishna said. “It is important for India and Pakistan to realize that we don’t gain anything from the conduct of acrimonious debates but everything is to be gained if we can be more realistic and appreciative of each other’s intents,” Krishna said.
The Union Minister referred to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - earlier this year- to visit to his birth place in Pakistan as touching. “That was a touching invitation and we hope that someday Prime Minister will visit Pakistan.”
Zardari extended the invitation during his India visit this year, while paying obeisance at the Dargah of Khawaj Mohi-ud-Din Chisti at Ajmeer Sharief.
Krishna said during Common Wealth Games held in New Delhi in 2010, participants from Pakistan were accorded warm welcome.
“The largest welcome was accorded to the Pakistan contingent. Such is the warm at people’s level. Pakistan has to understand this basic truth. I am glad there is realization in Pakistan and increasing one that they have to live along with India,” Krishna said.
Krishna said trade related issues vis-a-vis Kashmir would be taken up with Islamabad to expand commerce between the two countries.
“We will have to take up the trade related issues. The Minister for Commerce was in Pakistan and he will pursue that both countries stand to gain (from the activity),” Krishna said.
Krishna said J&K was going through some of the “tumultuous times”.
“I must compliment efforts of J&K government to lay solid foundation of economic development in the state. The J&K has vast natural resources and it could be most attractive tourist destination,” he said.
Krishna said the tourist rush to Kashmir has already crossed half a million figures. Tourism, he said was the area where there is scope for expansion.
Regarding service being provided by the Passport Department in JK, Krishna said during 2011, 89270 passport services were extended by the two Passport offices in Jammu and Srinagar which was an increase of 39 percent in comparison to facilities provided in 2010.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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