FM: Talks With India Important

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LAHORE, Pakistan, July 29 (UPI) — India and Pakistan need uninterrupted, constructive dialogue to resolve their issues and normalize ties, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said.

Khar, who at 33 recently became Pakistan’s first female and youngest foreign minister, spoke to reporters in Lahore after her meeting in New Delhi with India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.

Bilateral relations between the traditional rivals have plunged since the November 2008 terror siege and carnage in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, in which 166 people died. India has said the attacks were planned by terror groups based in Pakistan and relations cannot improve unless those responsible are punished.

Khar’s visit to India did not result in any major breakthroughs but both sides promised several confidence building measures. Her visit was welcomed by the Indian media.

Khar said the two countries are well aware of the challenges they face and result oriented dialogue could lead to peace and prosperity in the region, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported. She said top Indian leaders and those in the opposition all look forward to better ties with Pakistan which was very encouraging sign.

Khar said her delegation saw reciprocity by the Indian government to normalize and improve relations with Pakistan and to take them to a different level, while noting much groundwork needs to be done to bring the talks back on track, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported.

“As of now it is important for Pakistan to normalize relations with India, since it’s a prerequisite for us in order to resolve the issues mentioned in the question,” she was quoted as saying.

In India, Krishna said the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to eliminate terrorism from the region.

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