Want stable Pakistan: India
‘Committed To Find Solution To All Issues Besetting Our Relationship’
Islamabad, Sep 7: India wants to see a “stable” Pakistan that “would be in the best interest of everyone”, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said Friday after arriving here on a three-day visit.
“I wish to reiterate the desire of India to see a stable and prosperous Pakistan living in peace with itself and the world. That would be in the best interest of everyone,” Krishna told media immediately after landing at the Chaklala Air Force base amid tight security near here.
Krishna was received on arrival here by the Director General (South Asia) of Pakistan foreign office Zehra Akbari and the Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir.
He said that New Delhi is committed to a “peaceful bilateral dialogue” with Pakistan.
“The leadership of India and Pakistan have mandated building of trust and confidence between our two countries,” the minister said. He is scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar for formal talks here Saturday.
“We are committed to finding solutions of all issues that have beset our relationship through peaceful bilateral dialogue, while we look to the future where our two countries are able to live together in an atmosphere of friendliness and all-round cooperation, free from terror and violence,” Krishna said while setting the tone for the talks between both countries.
Reiterating that he had brought “a message of goodwill from India for the people of Pakistan", Krishna said that he was “very happy” to visit Islamabad at Khar's invitation.
In an interview to Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper published online on Friday, Krishna said. “I also hope to conclude a liberalized visa agreement, which will give further boost to people-to-people contacts” during the visit.
The pact is aimed at liberalizing visa rules dating back to 1974 that will free Indian and Pakistan businessmen from have to report at police stations and increase the number of cities they can travel to in the other country. The pact has been finalised and readied for signature for a while but Indian officials say that hitches from the Pakistan side have held up the pact.
In the interview, Krishna also said that he would be having discussions with Khar on a possible visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later this year. Singh had been invited to Pakistan by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in March last year and twice this year by Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari during their meetings in New Delhi in April and in Tehran last month. “I shall explore with... Khar the possibilities of what can be achieved to facilitate a purposeful visit of the Prime Minister,” Krishna said.
Krishna also advocated the need for patience while proceeding with dialogue. “Given the complexities of our bilateral relations, we have to be patient as we move forward and build more trust and confidence in each other,” he said in the interview.
India has made it clear that terrorism would remain a “core issue” as both sides review the second round of the dialogue process, revived in February 2011 after a long hiatus following the Nov 26-28, 2008, Mumbai attack.
The foreign secretaries - India's Ranjan Mathai and Pakistan's Jalil Abbas Jilani - met Friday before the minister-level talks between Krishna and Khar Saturday.
Both ministers will also co-chair the plenary of the India-Pakistan Joint Commission Saturday.
Krishna, who was last in Pakistan in July 2011, spends some time in Lahore Sunday on the way back. He will meet political, business and civil society leaders before heading back home.
Over 60 Indian mediapersons are accompanying the Indian external affairs minister. IANS
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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