New era in ties: Rabbani on talks with Krishna

India and Pakistan Wednesday reiterated the commitment to continue with the dialogue process amid hope that the two sides will be able to narrow down the differences.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar reiterated their commitment to continue with the dialogue process and hoped that the two countries would be able to narrow down differences.

Addressing a joint press conference after deliberating on issues with Khar for over two hours, Krishna said, “Our ties are on right track but there are distances to

“We have agreed that terrorism is a continuing threat to peace and security and reiterated our commitment to fight this scourge in all its manifestations,” he said.

Besides strengthening cooperation on terrorism, Krishna said that both the countries will continue discussions on Jammu and Kashmir by narrowing divergences.

Krishna also announced that he will be heading to Islamabad early next year to continue with the dialogue process.

“I am happy with dialogue. We will continue with the dialogue process, both the Foreign Ministers will meet in Islamabad in the first half of 2012,” he announced.

Krishna also said that both the sides have agreed to take more steps for the benefit of the people on both sides of the LoC, adding, “India and Pakistan agree on additional measures for cross-LoC travel.”

“I am satisfied with the outcome of our talks. We are listening carefully to each other,” he added.

Khar on her part said that she is confident about the future course of relations between the two counties. She said it was their desire to make the dialogue process "uninterrupted" and “uninterruptable”.

“I am more confident - after having met you - than when I arrived in Delhi yesterday. We are committed to the process. I bring you commitment from President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other political parties – big and small - to a process of engagement and to a process of normalisation,” she said.

“This is indeed a new era of bilateral ties,” she said, adding, “Pakistan desires to open a new chapter of amity and understanding with India.”

During the talks, which lasted for more than two hours, Krishna was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secretary-designate Ranjan Mathai, Y K Sinha, joint secretary in-charge of Pakistan in MEA, Sharat Sabharwal, India`s High Commissioner to Pakistan, and other senior officials.

Khar`s delegation included Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Zehra Akbari, Director General, South Asia, in Pakistan`s Foreign Office and Pakistan`s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik.

Ahead of the Minister-level talks, Rao and Bashir had yesterday finalised a slew of CBMs designed to expand cross-LoC travel and trade in Jammu and Kashmir apart from holding discussions on terror including progress in Pakistan in the probe into 2008 Mumbai attack case and ISI`s links with Kashmiri separatists.

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