Krishna meets Hina Rabbani Khar

Expressing happiness over meeting his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said such social exchanges will go a long way in normalising relations with the neighbouring country.

New York: Expressing happiness over meeting
his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar at a reception
here today, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said such
social exchanges will go a long way in normalising relations
with the neighbouring country.

Krishna met Khar briefly at a reception hosted by the
Pakistani Mission to the UN at an up-scale New York hotel.
Khar later escorted Krishna to his vehicle as he left the
reception.

Noting that the Pakistani delegation was "obviously very
very happy" with his presence at the reception, Krishna said
he too was "very pleased" with his visit to the social
gathering.

Krishna said Khar too expressed pleasure with his
presence. Krishna quoted Khar, who told him that "look at all
the smiles at every Pakistani face."

"She was extremely warm and I was very pleased that I did
go to the reception," Krishna told reporters later.

He said such social exchanges are part of the overall
attempt that "we have been making with all seriousness to
normalise relations with Pakistan."

"These gestures will certainly go a long way in improving
bilateral relationship. I am happy that I did go there," he
said.

Echoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s sentiments that a
country cannot choose its neighbours, Krishna said it is
necessary to normalise relations with Pakistan.

"The fact is Pakistan happens to be a close neighbour
with which we have connection, both in terms of civilisation,
we have same common history, background and language. Hence it
is necessary to normalise relationship" with it.

Meanwhile, Khar lobbied the world community to back
Pakistan`s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN
Security Council at the reception.

"Pakistan is seeking election for the non-permanent seat
of the UN Security Council at a time when the world is passing
through a particularly challenging phase. Pakistan’s long
experience and active participation in the UN system enables
it to contribute constructively towards addressing myriad of
problems," Khar said while addressing the reception.

She asked the world community to back Pakistan,
saying it would work to advance the goals of promoting peace,
harmony and security if it is elected to the body.

The election, in which Pakistan faces Kyrgyzstan,
will be held on October 21.

PTI

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