By Neeraj Nanda
Melbourne: India’s Foreign Minister has said the country was engaging China and its foreign policy was not Pakistan centric. He said India wanted a strong and democratic Pakistan and certain bilateral issues are held up because Pakistan was not cooperating in the Mumbai terrorist attacks issue. Mr. Krishna was replying to a question by South Asia Times (SAT), leading South Asian paper in Australia.
Mr. Krishna also told SAT he had raised issues related to Indian overseas students in Australia and was assured by Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd of full cooperation in the matter.
Meanwhile, Australia said it will “continue to discuss” with India its “differences” on whether to export Australian uranium for India’s civil nuclear purposes. The decision will take place “within the framework” of the “strategic partnership” that Australia established with India in 2009, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told a media conference after talks with the External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in Melbourne on Thursday.
The two leaders reviewed bilateral ties and discussed international issues under a bilateral “framework dialogue.”
Mr. Krishna was assisted by Secretary (East) Latha Reddy, High Commissioner Sujatha Singh and Adviser Raghavendra Shastry.
The Australian Foreign Minister also raised the issue of the non-payment of bills to its companies by the Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC).
“It has been brought to my notice and I will go back to India and take it up with the sports ministry,” Krishna said and the Australian minister expressed satisfaction over the assurance.
“We are comfortable about the Indian government’s response… These matters are well in hand,” Rudd said.
Later during a media conference with the South Asian/Indian media Mr. S. M. Krishna on a question by South Asia Times (SAT) said India was engaging China and its foreign policy was not just Pakistan centric. He said India wanted a strong and democratic Pakistan and certain bilateral issues are held up because Pakistan was not cooperating in the Mumbai terrorist attacks issue.
Mr. Krishna also met a large number of members of the Indian diaspora in Melbourne.
Earlier, Mr. S. M. Krishna has arrived here on a three- day visit today. Mr Krishna is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson. His talks with Mr. Kevin Rudd will be the seventh round of the framework dialogue between the two countries.
- With inputs from other media also.