Qureshi calls Krishna; talks bilateral relations

Qureshi calls Krishna; talks bilateral relations
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today renewed invitation to his Pakistani counterpart S M Qureshi to visit India to "carry forward" the dialogue process to which the Pakistan minister responded positively but did not indicate when he will travel.

The invitation by Krishna was reiterated during a phone call made by Qureshi to convey felicitations on the occasion of India's Republic Day during which the two ministers also discussed Indo-Pak relations, according to a ministry statement.

The two leaders also hoped for a "positive outcome" of the meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan in Thimpu on the margins of a SAARC Committee meeting.

"The Ministers had a brief exchange of views on bilateral relations. Referring to the forthcoming meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan in Thimpu, the ministers hoped for a positive outcome.

"External Affairs Minister reiterated his invitation to Qureshi to visit India at a mutually convenient date, to carry forward the dialogue process. Qureshi stated that he looked forward to visiting New Delhi," the statement said.

Earlier, in a message of greetings sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on India's Republic Day, his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani said: "I avail this opportunity to reiterate Pakistan's strong commitment to pursue our desire to develop friendly relations on the basis of sovereign equality and commonality of interest."

"We are also committed to resolving all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir and water disputes, towards realising the vision of a peaceful and prosperous South Asia."

Maintaining that India was ready to discuss all outstanding issues, the sources here said terrorism remains a "core issue" for the country which Pakistan needs to address.

Asserting that "terror is something that cannot be brushed aside because terror is a matter of fact, Krishna yesterday said, "It is necessary that we (India-Pakistan) should find a common wavelength in terms of fighting terror."

Qureshi also thanked Krishna for his letter of condolences on the assassination of Governor Salman Taseer.

Krishna said that it was a tragic incident and once again conveyed his deep sympathies to members of the bereaved family.