India is looking forward to Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar’s visit to the country next month for crucial talks between the two sides.
This was conveyed by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who is here on a two-day visit for talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, to Ms. Khar when she called on the Pakistani Minister on Friday morning.
During the meeting, Ms. Rao conveyed the greetings of External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and “reiterated that Government of India looks forward to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs’ visit to New Delhi next month,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said.
Ms. Khar spoke about “the importance that Pakistan attaches to the ongoing dialogue process and to the improvement of Pakistan-India relations.” She said she was looking forward “very much to her meetings in New Delhi.”
Ms. Rao said the ongoing meetings between the two sides were an effort to understand the complexities of the issues between them and build more trust and confidence.
Ms. Khar hoped that the interactions will result in some forward movement.
Separately, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik said this country’s Foreign Minister will be travelling to New Delhi next month to take forward the bilateral peace process.
“What we can deliver at this stage is that our Foreign Minister will be visiting New Delhi in July,” he said.
Pakistan currently has Ms. Khar as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, but there are reports that the government has decided to elevate her to full-fledged Cabinet rank ahead of crucial talks with India next month.
India has already expressed its view that it will not have any hesitation in hosting Ms. Khar for the Foreign Minister-level talks in July, even if she is not elevated.