Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has already met with Kashmiri separatists. The External Affairs Ministry termed it a bad idea

The Minister-level talks between India and Pakistan were held here today against the backdrop of India being clearly unhappy with new Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar holding meeting with Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of parleys with S.M. Krishna.

Ms. Khar within hours of her arrival met separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others in the Pakistan High Commission yesterday, an action which has been viewed as a “bad idea” by the Indian side which is expected to raise the issue during the talks.

Ahead of their discussions, both Mr. Krishna and Ms. Khar made positive statements maintaining that they were looking towards a cooperative relationship.

“I look forward to working closely with her, in forging a peaceful and cooperative relationship between India and Pakistan, which is in the interest of peace and development of both our countries, the region and beyond. We owe this to ourselves and to the generations to follow,” Mr. Krishna said.

Asserting that they have come with a “positive outlook”, Ms. Khar, the youngest and the first woman Foreign Minister of Pakistan, said, “We feel that the relationship between the two countries should not be held hostage by the past that the two countries have faced. We look forward to a genuine interaction with India in a setting which is respectful of reality of the two countries.

“As I have said, (there should be) peaceful co-existence recognising the realities that exist within the two countries,” Ms. Khar said while noting that burden of responsibility on the shoulders of India and Pakistan was not only to work for peace and prosperity for the people of two neighbours but also for peace and stability in the region.

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