Manmohan, Sharif Break Ice, But Stick To Their Stands

Manmohan, Sharif Break Ice, But Stick To Their Stands

Manmohan, Sharif Break Ice, But Stick To Their Stands

New York:  In a tentative opening of doors, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif held talks to improve their relations. But India made it clear that peace along the LoC was a must for a full dialogue and bringing masterminds of 2008 Mumbai terror attack was vital.

Addressing media after the ice-breaking “useful and friendly” talks here Sunday on the sidelines of the UN general assembly, Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said Manmohan Singh told Sharif that it was vital to bring to book those in Pakistan who masterminded the Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people including many foreigners.

According to Menon, Sharif said that indeed was Pakistan’s intention.

“Both sides wish to see a better India-Pakistan relationship. Both sides want a much better relationship,” Menon told media.

“In order to get there, we need to address today the issues we face,” he added, which he said included restoring “peace and tranquility” along the LoC and addressing issues related to terrorism.

“It is very important to address the terrorism issue,” Menon underlined, making it clear that while there was no proof of India interfering in the internal affairs of Pakistan, the reverse was not true.

The two prime ministers tasked the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of both countries to come up with “effective measures” to restore the 2003 ceasefire on the Jammu and Kashmir border, the Indian national security advisor told media.

“The decision was for DGMOs to come up with real plans to restore the ceasefire.”

Menon said Sharif raised issues of concern to Pakistan including the disputed Siachen glacier and Sir Creek.

“Our overall impression was that the meeting was useful, it provided an opportunity to discuss issues that are troubling the relationship,” he added.

Sharif invited the Indian prime minister to visit Pakistan, and Manmohan Singh — who was born in what, is now the Pakistani Punjab — reciprocated. No dates have been set for their visits.

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