Krishna congratulates Pakistan’s new foreign minister


New Delhi : Even as India and the US asked Islamabad to dismantle safe havens for terrorists, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Tuesday telephoned his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar to congratulate her on her appointment and said he looked forward to meeting her in New Delhi next week.

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“EAM felicitates Ms. Hina Rabbani Kar on her appointment as FM Pakistan; looks forward to meeting her in New Delhi soon,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash tweeted on the microblogging site.

Krishna and Khar, who has been the junior foreign minister for the past five months and was sworn in as the foreign minister Tuesday, are expected to hold the talks in New Delhi July 27 to deepen the peace process between India and Pakistan which was revived in February this year after a long hiatus following the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The 34-year-old Khar, Pakistan’s first woman foreign minister and the youngest person to occupy this key position, is expected to come to India July 26 for the talks.

India’s High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal called on Khar at the Foreign Office in Islamabad to discuss the foreign minister-level talks, said sources.

Krishna and Khar are also expected to meet in Bali later this week on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting.

Krishna’s congratulatory call to Khar came soon after India and the US wrapped up their second strategic dialogue with both sides asking Pakistan to prosecute terrorists behind the 26/11 Mumbai carnage urgently and to dismantle sanctuaries for terrorists.

Issues relating to cross-border will figure prominently in the foreign-minister level discussions that are also expected to unveil a slew of new confidence building measures to expand trade and travel across the divided halves of Kashmir.