External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will visit Pakistan from July 14 to work out the modalities of “restoring trust and confidence” in the relationship, thus paving the way for a “substantive dialogue” on issues of mutual concern.
In a brief statement announcing the three-day visit, the External Affairs Ministry on Monday said it is being undertaken “in pursuance of the mandate given by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, during their meeting at Thimphu in April, 2010, to the Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries of both the countries to work out the modalities of restoring trust and confidence in the relationship, thus paving the way for a substantive dialogue on issues of mutual concern.
“Krishna will visit Pakistan from July 14-16, 2010 for bilateral discussions at the invitation of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan,” it said.
However, both the leaders have already talked about the issues to be raised during the parleys, with Mr. Krishna making it clear that he will talk about terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil and Mr. Qureshi saying that he will harp on Kashmir issue and alleged human rights violations there.
Mr. Krishna is expected to explore ways and means to reduce the trust deficit between the two countries that has grown since the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
“We would like to talk to Pakistan on a number of concerns that we have. Of course, the primary concern would continue to be terror which emanates from Pakistan,” Mr. Krishna has said.
The minister said that he would continue to talk about terror and seek an update on the trial of those accused of carrying out the deadly attacks in Mumbai in 2008.
Meanwhile, Mr. Qureshi has said Pakistan will raise the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Mr. Krishna.
“We have raised our voice about human rights violations there and we will continue to do so. When the Indian Foreign Minister comes here soon, that will be the proper occasion to direct his attention towards the incidents occurring in Srinagar and the (Kashmir) valley,” Mr. Qureshi has said.
However, Mr. Krishna has made it clear that law and order cannot be questioned in the name of rights.
“If there are instances of human rights violations, there are agencies within our own country which have been created to ensure human rights protection. So, it can be looked into, but law and order cannot be questioned in the name of human rights,” Mr. Krishna has said.