India conveyed to Pakistan on Friday, that bilateral ties were under "considerable stress" due to terrorism emanating from its soil. In the second high-level meeting between the two countries, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the G-8 Foreign ministers meeting in Trieste, Italy and reviewed the current status of Indo-Pak relations.
"These(relations) have remained under considerable stress and the primary cause of this is the terrorist attacks on India, by elements based in Pakistan," Krishna told media-persons.He said Qureshi and he agreed, however, that there was vast potential that existed in India-Pakistan relations. "I conveyed the sentiments of our Prime Minister that we stand ready to meet Pakistan more than half way to utilise and harness that potential for our mutual benefit. At the same time, we have to address centrally why our relations come under stress recurrently," Krishna said.
He also told his Pakistani counterpart that the "forthcoming meeting of Foreign Secretaries, as was decided by our leaders in Russia, is important as it will enable us to take stock of where we stand on the issue of terrorism and the fulfilment by Pakistan of its assurance that its territory would not be used for terrorist attacks on India." The meeting comes close on the heels of the one between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Asif Ali Zardari last week, first high-level contact between the two countries after the Mumbai terror attacks.
In their meeting in Yekaterinburg, Singh bluntly told Zardari that his mandate was to tell him that Pakistan should not allow its soil to be used for terror attacks against India. Krishna is leading the Indian delegation for the G8 Summit which will focus on a comprehensive strategy for the stability in the region with special attention to Afghanistan. Besides meeting Qureshi, the External Affairs Minister also met Afghanistan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta. He is also expected to meet British Foreign Secretary and Canadian Foreign Minister on the margins of the G8 Outreach meeting.