External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will invite his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi to India during his visit to Islamabad in July as part of efforts to reduce the “trust deficit” between the two neighbours.
“I certainly would be extending an invitation to the Pakistani Foreign Minister to visit India,” Mr. Krishna told reporters on his way back from a two-day visit to Kazakhstan.
“These high-level visits will only act as some kind of a panacea to reduce the trust deficit and we can talk to each other with more confidence and that certainly will create the right kind of atmosphere for very productive talks,” he said.
Mr. Krishna said the Prime Ministers of the two countries had met in Thimpu last month on the sidelines of the SAARC summit and felt that steps were needed to address the trust deficit between the two countries.
“So, Foreign Minister Qureshi’s telephonic talk to me was in pursuance to address the trust deficit,” he said referring to his 25-minute conversation on May 11 with the Pakistani Minister, during which it was decided that the two ministers will meet in Islamabad on July 15.
Asked about his expectations from the talks with Pakistan, he said, “Let me not speculate on what we expect Pakistan to do or what Pakistan expects India to do.
“I think the very fact the Foreign Minister is going to Pakistan is an indication that we would like to have friendly relationships with Pakistan“.
Mr. Krishna also said that during his visit to the United States next month, he would take up the issue of extradition of Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley to India.
“We have an extradition treaty with United States and Headley, with whatever evidence we have gathered, is a kingpin of the Mumbai terror attacks. So this question will be taken up with the U.S.,” he said.