NEW DEHLI: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna Friday underlined India’s willingness to take the dialogue process with Pakistan forward, but made it clear that New Delhi expected Islamabad to fulfill its repeated anti-terror assurances.
“India seeks cordial, cooperative and friendly ties with all its neighbours and would remain steadfast in this pursuit,” Krishna said while outlining key priorities of India’s foreign policy in the year ahead.
“With Pakistan, as the prime minister has repeatedly said, we stand ready to resolve all outstanding issues through a peaceful dialogue,” he said.
“We expect Pakistan to fulfill its repeated assurances given to us at the highest level to not allow the territory under its control for fomenting terrorism aimed against us, and to bring perpetrators of Mumbai terrorist attack to justice expeditiously.”
“I have extended an invitation to my counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to visit India and earnestly hope that we can take the process of dialogue forward,” added Krishna.
Krishna and Qureshi held wide-ranging talks in Islamabad on July 15 last year, but the effort failed to revive dialogue process and ended in bitter mutual recrimination.
Pakistan accused India of making the dialogue “terror-centric” while India contended that Islamabad’s insistence on a deadline for resolving complex issues like Jammu & Kashmir led to failure of foreign-minister level talks.
Krishna indicated that there would be renewed initiative this year to defreeze the dialogue process. “There is no alternative to engaging Pakistan. We will like to engage Pakistan in a dialogue. There is no alternative to dialogue for resolving outstanding issues.”