We will move forward, not look back: Khar
External affairs minister SM Krishna ended his diplomatic engagement here on Saturday with an assurance from Pakistan that it would act on the 26/11 case, and the signing of a liberal visa regime.
“Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to bringing perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice,” Krishna said at a joint press conference with counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar.
India and Pakistan are currently working on creating the “right atmosphere” for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposed visit to Pakistan, and New Delhi sees any forward movement in the 26/11 case there as conducive to this.
In a goodwill gesture, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari ordered the release of all 171 Indian fishermen jailed there while interior minister Rehman Malik spoke of “trying and sending” Sarabjit Singh home as early as possible.
At the end of four-hour-long discussions, both Krishna and Khar spoke about adopting a forward-looking approach in normalising ties.
“What has happened till now is history, we will not hold ourselves hostage to history,” said Khar. She spoke for the resolution of core issues such as Kashmir and Siachen. Krishna advocated a step-by-step approach to taking the dialogue process forward.
On the PM’s visit, Krishna said it wasn’t conditional but stressed on the “right atmosphere” and “something worthwhile” to warrant the trip. Khar, in an exclusive to HT a day ago, had said, “We don’t believe in conditional diplomacy.”
External affairs minister SM Krishna and Pakistan foreign minister Heena Rabbani Khar shake hands during the Indo-Pak delegation-level talks in Islamabad. PTI Photo
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Here is a comparison between the existing and new visa agreements