Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:43:40
Krishna due on Friday for bilateral talks
ISLAMABAD, Sept 5 (APP): Indian Minister of External Affairs
S. M. Krishna will arrive here on Friday for bilateral talks with
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on September 8.
During the visit, the two countries are expected to sign
agreements for improving trade ties and new visa regime.
Foreign Office officials have confirmed the arrival of
Indian Minister on September 7.
The talks will be preceded by a meeting of the foreign
secretaries of the two countries on September 7, while the
foreign ministers will co-chair the plenary session of the India-
Pakistan Joint Commission on September 8.
According to experts, the talks will have a positive impact
on bilateral relations as President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a very positive and constructive meeting in Tehran on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit.
The talks will help the two countries to advance the delicate
process of normalizing ties.
The two countries resumed peace talks in February last year
after India suspended them in the wake of terror attacks in
Mumbai in November 2008.
The recent visit of parliamentarians from Pakistan to India
has also helped normalize bilateral ties, which will be further boosted
by the Indian External Affairs Minister's visit.
Although there are many disputes between the two countries,
including the core issue of Kashmir, water distribution, Siachen and
Sir Creek, but the most important issue is terrorism.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik, while talking to reporters during
his recent visit to Tehran, said that Pakistan had finalised work on
the visa regime and hoped it would be signed during Krishna's visit.
The Foreign Office sources said that the two countries
had moved ahead and hoped that it was the time that all outstanding
issues would be solved.
Pakistan has also approved the status of Most Favourite Nation
(MFN) to India and the latter also responded by taking some steps to
facilitate the Pakistani businessmen and investors to boost
Following the meeting between the two foreign ministers on
Saturday, a new roadmap for the next round of talks between the two countries will be finalised.
The foreign ministers will also look into the possibility
of the visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Pakistan
on the invitation of President Asif Ali Zardari.
During the inter-ministerial meeting on Friday, the progress
made on various issues so far, including peace, security
and confidence-building measures, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen
Glacier, Sir Creek, economic and commercial cooperation, and Wullar
barrage, will be deliberated.
Both the countries have recently signed the customs cooperation
agreement to facilitate importers and exporters at the Wagah border.
India has also permitted Pakistani entrepreneurs to invest in
India and initially two Pakistani textile companies are selling
their products in India.
Meanwhile, the Indian External Affairs Minister in his
recent interview said that dialogue is the best way to resolve
issues between the two sides.
"We have travelled some distance since our bilateral dialogue
was resumed in February 2011," he said, adding that there had been
some progress in the area of economic and commercial cooperation and
promotion of friendly exchanges but much more needed to be done.
He said, "We remain committed to resolving all issues with
Pakistan through a bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from
terror and violence."
He said in diplomacy, one does not set pre-conditions for
dialogue. "We are certainly not doing so," he added.
He said that he was visiting to Pakistan to review progress in
the dialogue process with his Pakistani counterpart.