New Delhi: Days after he returned from Islamabad, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Friday struck a cautious note, saying while India is “reasonably satisfied” with the progress in the second round of the resumed dialogue with Pakistan, the path ahead will not be easy.
“We are reasonably satisfied at the progress achieved in the last round of the resumed dialogue, given the complexities of the issues that we face, in our relations with Pakistan,” Krishna told Indian envoys while inaugurating the fourth conference of Indian Heads of Mission here.
“We are also cognizant of the fact that there is a long way and the path ahead will not be easy,” he said.
Krishna’s cautious remarks come amid speculation about the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Pakistan.
Addressing the envoys, Manmohan Singh projected India as an engine of progress for neighbouring countries. He stressed that India has worked towards “establishing friendly and cooperative ties with our neighbours” and emphasized the idea of establishing greater connectivity in south Asia to promote the movement of goods, services, investment and technology.
Krishna held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in Islamabad Sep 8 and reviewed the progress in the second round of the dialogue that was resumed early last year after a long hiatus following the Mumbai terror attacks.
The two sides signed a pact to liberalise the visa regime – an important step that will ease trade, travel and enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
Around 120 envoys from Indian missions abroad have gathered here for an annual strategy meeting to brainstorm on various issues and challenges that confront India’s foreign policy.
The conference seeks to discuss an entire gamut of foreign policy issues that include the UN reforms, counter-terrorism, nuclear proliferation, India’s relations with neighbouring countries, the situation in West Asia, and India-China and India-Pakistan relations.