Islamabad: India wants to see a “stable” Pakistan that “would be in the best interest of everyone”, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Friday after arriving here on a three-day visit.
“I wish to reiterate the desire of India to see a stable and prosperous Pakistan living in peace with itself and the world. That would be in the best interest of everyone,” Krishna told media immediately after landing at the Chaklala Air Force base amid tight security near here.
Krishna was received on arrival here by the Director General (South Asia) of Pakistan foreign office Zehra Akbari and the Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir.
He said that New Delhi is committed to a “peaceful bilateral dialogue” with Pakistan.
“The leadership of India and Pakistan have mandated building of trust and confidence between our two countries,” the minister said. He is scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar for formal talks here Saturday.
“We are committed to finding solutions of all issues that have beset our relationship through peaceful bilateral dialogue, while we look to the future where our two countries are able to live together in an atmosphere of friendliness and all-round cooperation, free from terror and violence,” Krishna said while setting the tone for the talks between both countries.
Reiterating that he had brought “a message of goodwill from India for the people of Pakistan”, Krishna said that he was “very happy” to visit Islamabad at Khar’s invitation.
The Indian side is likely to raise issues of terrorism, particularly expediting trial of the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. New Delhi’s concerns on threats of terror emanating from various quarters in Pakistan will also be brought up.
India has made it clear that terrorism would remain a “core issue” as both sides review the second round of the dialogue process, revived in February 2011 after a long hiatus following the Nov 26-28, 2008, terror siege of Mumbai.
The foreign secretaries – India’s Ranjan Mathai and Pakistan’s Jalil Abbas Jilani – met Friday before the minister-level talks between Krishna and Khar Saturday.
Both ministers will also co-chair the plenary of the India-Pakistan Joint Commission Saturday.
Krishna, who was last in Pakistan in July 2011, spends some time in Lahore Sunday on the way back. He will meet political, business and civil society leaders before heading back home.
Over 60 Indian mediapersons are accompanying the Indian external affairs minister.