He ducked the question, but a point was made in the asking
This was the second question the new foreign minister had to answer:
Question: This is on Pakistan. Do you think it is a good time for India to pull back troops from the border? What do you think about America increasing aid for Pakistan without making it conditional on stopping cross border terrorism against India?
SM Krishna: We can change our friends, but not our neighbours. In general, we desire to live with all our neighbours in peace and to create a tension free situation with all our neighbours. We stand ready to extend our hand of partnership to Pakistan, if they take determined and credible action to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism operating from there territory. [MEA emphasis added]
See C Raja Mohan’s rather optimistic take on the prospects for Indian foreign policy under S M Krishna’s stewardship. More than ideological certitude or “expertise” a good, sensible head—and Mr Krishna is known to have one—is what a good minister is made of. So let’s hope Raja-Mandala is right on this one.
Update: According to knowledgeable sources, the journalist who asked this question was CNN-IBN’s Parul Malhotra.