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Ties with Pak under stress: Krishna
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
Slowly but steadily, the India-Pakistan normalisation process is gaining momentum.

The Foreign Ministers of the two countries today held a formal meeting on the margins of the ‘Outreach’ meeting of the G-8 countries at Trieste in Italy.

However, India again took a strong stand on the issue of terrorism with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna telling his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi that Pakistan must fulfil its commitment of not allowing its territory to be used for terror attacks against India.

The External Affairs Ministry here said Krishna also conveyed to Qureshi that the upcoming meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries was important as it would enable New Delhi to take stock of what Islamabad had done so far to address its concerns on terrorism.

The meeting between the Foreign Ministers came 10 days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Yekaterinburg in Russia.

Krishna also conveyed to the Pakistani leader that the relations between the two countries were still under considerable stress and the primary cause of this was the terrorist attacks on India by elements in Pakistan.

The two ministers agreed during their discussions that there was vast potential that existed in the India-Pakistan relations. “I conveyed the sentiments of our Prime Minister that we stand ready to meet Pakistan more than half way to utilise and harness that potential for our mutual benefit. At the same time, we have to address centrally why our relations come under stress recurrently.’’

The two ministers are understood to have discussed the date for the meeting between the Foreign Secretaries. Though no date has been fixed for such a meeting so far, the two Foreign Secretaries will hold talks before the Indian Prime Minister meets his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Reza Gilani on the margins of the NAM Summit in Egypt in mid-July.

Krishna also met his Afghanistan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta and discussed the situation in the war-ravaged nation.

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