Krishna calls on Pak President Zardari ahead of bilateral talks

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 07, 2012 17:20 hrs

India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who will hold bilateral delegation-level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on Saturday, called on Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari at his Aiwan-e-Sadr official residence here on Friday evening.

The two leaders reportedly exchanged pleasantries and discussed issues of bilateral interest during their meeting that lasted for about 30 minutes.

Before meeting President Zardari, Krishna called on Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.

Krishna was accompanied by other members of the Indian delegation, which included Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, India's High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal, Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Yash Sinha and the Indian Government's official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, and others.

The Pakistan side at the meeting included Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir.

Krishna had earlier in the day said that he had come to Pakistan with a message of goodwill from the government and people of India.

"I am very happy to visit Islamabad at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and my esteemed colleague Hina Rabbani Khar. I bring a message of goodwill from India for the people of Pakistan," Krishna said soon after his arrival.

"I wish to reiterate the desire of India to see a stable and prosperous Pakistan living in peace with itself and the world. That would be in the best interest of everyone," he added.

Asserting that the leadership of India and Pakistan have mandated building of trust and confidence between our two countries, Krishna said: "We are committed to finding solutions of all issues that have beset our relationship through peaceful bilateral dialogue, while we look to the future where our two countries are able to live together in an atmosphere of friendliness and all-round cooperation, free from terror and violence."

"My endeavour during this visit will be to promote the objectives that I have just mentioned," he added.

This is Krishna's second visit to Pakistan since 2010. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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