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Krishna calls on Pakistan Punjab Governor, Chief Minister in Lahore

Lahore, Sep.9 (ANI): Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna called on the Governor and the Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab Province on Sunday.

Soon after landing at Lahore International Airport, Krishna headed for the residence of Punjab Governor Sardar Muhammad Latif Khosa. The two leaders reportedly exchanged pleasantries and discussed the outcome of the latest round of bilateral talks at the ministerial level.

The meeting lasted for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Krishna then called on Punjab Province Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif at his official residence in the city.

Sharif personally received Krishna at the entrance of his residence. The two leaders hook hands and then Sharif escorted Krishna inside and introduced him to members of his cabinet, senators, members of the Pakistan Parliament and Punjab provincial assembly, besides other invited guests.

In his opening remarks, Chief Minister Sharif welcomed Krishna to Pakistan and to Lahore specifically. He described Krishna’s visit to Pakistan as one of great pleasure, a visit that was constructive, and one that has achieved much along the right lines.

“It is really a great pleasure to welcome you to Pakistan, to Lahore. A lot has happened in very constructive terms, India, on the right lines. It is a very welcome visit, very productive, very useful, and we are very happy,” said Sharif.

Expressing happiness and satisfaction over moves by New Delhi and Islamabad to facilitate to and fro bilateral visits, Sharif further said that such trips provide better opportunities for the leaderships and people of the two countries to interact.

“Islamabad facilitates visits to India and vice-versa, providing better opportunities for visits, for (interaction between) business houses, tourism. I think these are the areas closest to each other, and this will help in a big way not only to end misunderstandings, but strike (reach) better agreements between our two countries,” Sharif said.

Krishna thanked Chief Minister Sharif for according him and his delegation a warm welcome, and reportedly reciprocated the former’s feelings and views for taking bilateral ties in all areas between the two countries forward.

Krishna’s visit to Lahore took place a day after he had concluded delegation-level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in Islamabad.

During the three-day visit, India and Pakistan inked a new visa regime agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cultural ties.

The two sides also reviewed the progress of the resumed dialogue process, and discussed the entire gamut of bilateral issues, including Kashmir, terrorism, Siachen, Sir Creek/Wullar Barrage, conventional and nuclear confidence building measures, ways to promote trade and business ties, besides resumption of the joint commission.

The Indian External Affairs Minister also called on President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf during visit to Islamabad, and exchanged pleasantries and views on bilateral matters of mutual interest to the two countries. By Smita Prakash (ANI)