Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who saw a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) exhibition with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Tuesday, suggested that his country wanted to have “beautiful” relations with India.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives in Bhutan on Wednesday for the two-day summit during which terrorism is expected to figure high on the agenda. There are high expectations of a meeting between Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at the Saarc meet.
When asked about the possibility of talks between the two prime ministers, Qureshi said: “We can talk about talks. One always lives on hope.” He added that “talking and engaging are the most sensible way forward”.
“Let the prime minister arrive here. We will see how scheduling of the bilateral meetings will be arranged,” he said.
Krishna, who addressed the Saarc Council of Ministers, asked the eight-nation group to rally against terrorism. He said, “The South Asian region is particularly afflicted by this menace. The time has come for us to rally against the forces of terrorism that seek to divide and weaken our societies.”
Krishna said Saarc countries have an abiding obligation to address pressing problems like terrorism and drugs, poverty, unemployment, trafficking and illiteracy.
“Our effort will be to infuse a fresh dynamism into the regional processes and to strive to channelise the fruits of our collective efforts to the most vulnerable sections of our societies,” he said.
India, he said, was fully committed to working within Saarc to contribute to the development of the region through social development and regional economic integration.