Remarks made by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New Delhi


Islamabad: First of all, I wish to thank the External Affairs Minister, Shri S.M. Krishna for the gracious hospitality extended to me and my delegation ever since our arrival in New Delhi.

I am indeed delighted to be in this historic city to carry forward the important process of Pakistan-India engagement.

I bring to the people and leadership of India warm greetings from the people and Government of Pakistan. I also bring the personal commitment of President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to usher in a new era of bilateral cooperation.

My talks today with the External Affairs Minster have been substantive and were held in a cordial atmosphere. I told the External Affairs Minister that after having an intensive dialogue with him I am more confident.

It was my endeavour to reach a deeper level of understanding, which would enable us, together, to impart the requisite political will for a productive and result-oriented dialogue process.

We express our satisfaction on the holding of subject-specific meetings during the last five months. We have agreed that this process should continue in fact, there is no alternative to dialogue and a constructive engagement.

Pakistan and India are not only close neighbours but also have a special responsibility to promote stability, peace and work for the prosperity of our region as a whole. We are partners in SAARC and subscribe to SAARC’s vision of shared prosperity and peace.

I have conveyed to the External Affairs Minister, Shri Krishna that Pakistan seeks friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations with India. To achieve this objective, we need to invest more in building mutual trust; infuse greater political will in resolving all outstanding issues through peaceful means; and continue to work the process of dialogue to deepen our understanding.

We must make every effort to narrowing down divergences and building convergences. It is important that as responsible states, we take ownership for our affairs.

In recent months, we have seen intensification of contacts at different levels between our two countries. Following the meeting of the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India in Thimphu last year, a momentum has been generated. It is important to sustain this momentum and develop a truly people-centred approach. We are not unmindful of the challenges that confront us. However, there are also enormous opportunities to create what I would call win-win scenarios.

It is in this spirit that I wish to convey to the people India, Pakistan’s desire to open a new chapter of amity and understanding between our tow counties. A chapter that is supported by all political parities in Pakistan.

I was heartened by what Minister Krishna informed me in the meeting. He said that at the Commonwealth Games the team that received the most applause form the crowd after India during the “march of nations” was Pakistan. This reflects that the youth of India and Pakistan are looking towards a new era of friendship and cooperation.

I have noticed a mindset change in both countries. I bring you the message of a mindset change in Pakistan that wants friendship with India.

We have agreed to issue a Joint Statement that gives the salient points of our discussion as well as the decisions taken. I need not amplify these here.

I wish to thank Shri S.M . Krishna, once again, for his invitation and for being a gracious host.

For more information, contact:
Syed Haider Ali Jafri
Personal Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 921 0335 and 9056604