Resuming cricketing ties is a good sign: External Affairs Minister
Enthused by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh informing him about the Indo-Pak Cricket series during the year-end, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Thursday said that he was visiting Pakistan in the second week of September to continue the bilateral dialogue with his Pakistan counterpart, Hina Rabbani Khar.
Speaking to presspersons at the Vidhana Soudha after casting his vote in the Presidential elections in Bangalore, Mr. Krishna said that the readiness of the two countries to resume cricket ties after five years was a good sign in bilateral relations.
Mr. Krishna, who is a Rajya Sabha Member, said that he had met Ms. Khar and held discussions with her on various issues of mutual interest.
About India’s relations with China, Mr. Krishna said that the countries were maintaining good relations.
On the firing by American Navy personnel on Indian fishermen in the international waters of United Arab Emirates killing one person, the Minister said that he was expecting a report about the incident and he would react only after receiving it.
Whether the All India Congress Committee general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi should join the Manmohan Singh Cabinet, he said that Mr. Gandhi was the best judge to decide on it.
Denying allegation made by the former Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) MP H.D. Kumaraswamy that he had failed to keep his promise of giving Rs. 1 crore from his MP’s Local Area Development Fund for the renovation of Russell Market in Shivajinagar, Mr. Krishna said that he had released it to the Deputy Commissioner. The money had been transferred to the official’s account. Mr. Kumaraswamy, he said, was ill-informed and he should not speak without knowing the truth.
Mr. Krishna said that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar met Dr. Manmohan Singh and a few Union Ministers in New Delhi seeking more funds for tackling drought and that the Union government was sending a team of officers to the State for assessing the situation. The Union government would take a decision on the amount to be released after getting the report, he added.