Krishna Arrives in Pakistan, Calls Visit ‘a New Beginning’

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.

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    • neel123
    • July 14th, 2010

    Nothing will change ………

    The status quo will be maintained….. India will go about its business as usual………Pakistan will continue to slide down the slippery slope ……. after about two decades, the Pakistan Army will have no takers in the US, and become a liability for China …….. India will have no reason to negotiate or offer any concessions, Pakistan will undergo restructure of power, will start from the scratch, re-orient itself for an unconditional normal trade relationship with India.

    • Neel, let’s hope that you are wrong. Although I suspect you may end up being right. Peace is not so easily achieveable between these two countries. But it is also not impossible as the two came very close to a compehensive secret agreement 2 years ago under Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Lets see what the future holds. One thing is clear, war is not the answer for either side!

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