Krishna meets with political parties


Express July 16, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Before leaving for New Delhi, Krishna met separately with PML-N, ANP and MQM delegations and tried to dispel the impression that talks between him and Qureshi had broken down. “It is not the way it’s perceived; we are still hopeful of continuing a constructive engagement,” Krishna was quoted as telling the representatives of the three political parties.

The ANP delegation included Haji Adeel, Hashmi Baber and Tajuddin whereas the PML-N delegation was led by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and included Ahsan Iqbal, Raja Zafarul Haq and Zulfikar Khosa.

Party officials said the Indian top diplomat had given “a very positive message” about the prospect of the resumption of dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi. They quoted Krishna as having said that his country had “a strong desire” to resume and carry forward the dialogue “for the sake of their two countries and the region”.

All the delegations told Krishna that the two countries should relax visa constraints so that people-to-people contact could be facilitated. Krishna was also told of the parties’ desire to see trade links between the two nuclear powers.

Talking to the media after the meeting, MQM politician Dr Farooq Sattar said terrorism is a regional issue and India should also come forward to meet the challenge and that all contentious issues, including Kashmir, should be discussed.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2010.

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