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Krishna attends reception hosted by Khar in New York

September 27
03:25 2011

NEW YORK: In a departure from protocol, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna attended a reception hosted by his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar here, after which he said such gestures will go a long way in improving Indo-Pak ties.

Krishna met Khar briefly at the reception organized by the Pakistani Mission to the UN at an upscale New York hotel.

Khar later escorted Krishna to his vehicle as he left the reception.

Expressing happiness over his meeting with Khar, the External Affairs Minister told reporters after attending the reception that such social exchanges will go a long way in normalizing relations between the two countries.

Noting that the Pakistani delegation was “obviously very very happy” with his presence at the reception, Krishna said he too was “very pleased” with his visit to the event.

He said Khar too expressed pleasure with his presence.

Krishna said his Pakistani counterpart told him, “look at all the smiles at every Pakistani face.”

“She was extremely warm and I was very pleased that I did go to the reception,” Krishna said.

Krishna said such social exchanges are part of the overall attempt that “we have been making with all seriousness to normalize relations with Pakistan.”

“These gestures will certainly go a long way in improving bilateral relationship. I am happy that I did go there,” he said.

Echoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s sentiments that a country cannot choose its neighbors, Krishna said it is necessary to normalize relations with Pakistan.

“The fact is Pakistan happens to be a close neighbor with which we have connection, both in terms of civilization, we have same common history, background and language. Hence it is necessary to normalize relationship” with it. -PTI

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