Engaging is the most sensible way forward, says Pakistan

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who saw a SAARC Exhibition alongside External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, suggested that his country wanted to have "beautiful" relations with India.

"The climate here is beautiful. Don't you want relations between India and Pakistan to be beautiful as well," Qureshi told reporters when asked whether the cool climes of Thimphu would have an impact on Indo-Pak ties.

Asked about the possibility of talks between the Prime Ministers of the two countries, he said, "We can talk about talks. One always lives on hope".

He added that, "talking and engaging is the most sensible way forward".

Qureshi and Krishna were together at the exhibition for few moments after the inaugural session of the SAARC Council of Ministers' meeting.

Krishna, who was asked separately about the possibility of the meeting between the two Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit, was guarded, saying it would be decided after Singh arrives here tomorrow.

"Let the Prime Minister arrive here. We will see how scheduling of the bilateral meetings will be arranged. We have to await the arrival," he said.

There are high expectations about a meeting between Singh and Gilani on the sidelines of the Summit here which begins tomorrow. Indian officials suggest that there could be a meeting but it would not be a substantive one.

India has been maintaining that it was willing to remain engaged with Pakistan but the latter would have to address the "core" concern of cross-border terrorism before a substantive dialogue could be resumed.

Pakistan, on the other side, wants resumption of Composite Dialogue which was stalled by India after the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

To a question on Pakistan's reply to Indian dossiers of evidence on 26/11, Krishna said a response would be formulated after he goes back to Delhi.

On the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers, he said "it was smooth". He said it had been smoothened by the meeting of SAARC Foreign Secretaries yesterday.

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