By Omer Farooq Khan for The Times of India
Indian external affairs minister S M Krishna, who arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday, said that he is on a mission to restore trust and increase confidence between the two countries.
“We hope to discuss all issues of mutual interest and concern that can contribute to restoring trust and building confidence in our bilateral relationship,” Krishna told journalists as he arrived here.
During his three-day visit, Krishna will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday and will also meet President Asif Ali Zardari and PM Yusuf Raza Gillani. S M Krishna looks forward seeking progress on the issue of terrorism being raised by the Indian home minister P Chidambaram with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik last month in Islamabad.
“I also look forward to receiving feedback on the issues raised by our home minister (P Chidambaram) during his visit to Pakistan last month on our core concern of terrorism, particularly in the light of the discussions our home minister had in Pakistan in the context of interrogation of David Headley regarding the Mumbai terrorist attack,” he said.
Krishna described his visit as important as it marks a new beginning of journey to build a prosperous, friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries.
India is committed to resolving all issues with Pakistan through peaceful dialogue based on mutual trust and confidence, Krishna said.
“I brought a message of peace and friendship from the people of India and we hope to undertake this voyage of peace, however long and arduous, jointly with the government and people of Pakistan,” he said.
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that he will raise with Krishna the issue of alleged human rights in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are approaching the meeting with a positive mindset,” Qureshi said.
The Krishna-Qureshi talks on Thursday will be the third major contact between the two countries in within a month.
Home minister Chidambaram conveyed India’s concerns and expectations on terrorism to Pakistani leadership last month when he visited Islamabad.
The Indian and Pakistani prime ministers met in April on the sidelines of a regional summit in Bhutan, which set in motion the process to revive suspended contacts at different levels of government.