India, Pakistan talks an ‘encouraging step’: Krishna

NEW DELHI: Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna told parliament Friday that talks with Pakistan had marked an “encouraging step,” but said more was expected from Islamabad in curbing militancy.

The foreign secretaries of the two South Asian neighbours met in New Delhi on Thursday for the first official talks since the 2008 Mumbai attacks which prompted India to suspend dialogue.

The meeting represented “an encouraging step towards restoring dialogue and better communication between the two governments,” the minister told lawmakers.

India is “convinced that we must not shut the door on dialogue with Pakistan, and that such a dialogue, if it gathers momentum, holds tremendous potential for the progress and well-being of the people of our region,” he said.

Krishna spoke just hours after receiving Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who paid a courtesy call on the minister following his talks the day before with Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao.

“Communication and engagement represent the best way forward,” Krishna said but added that future engagement with Pakistan would be “predicated… on Pakistan’s response to our core concern on terrorism.”


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