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Singh heads to Brazil for IBSA, BRIC meets

April 14, 2010 22:59 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left Washington on Wednesday for Brazil after attending the Nuclear Security Summit and holding talks with US President Barack Obama during which he asked him to press Pakistan to rein in Lashkar-e-Tayiba and other terror outfits targeting India.On the second leg of his 8-day two-nation tour, Singh headed to Brasilia where he would attend the India-Brazil- South Africa and the Brazil-Russia-India-China summits on Thursday and on Friday respectively.

The PM, who held a 50-minute meeting with Obama on Sunday during his 4-day visit, emphasised thatPakistan needed to take "convincing action" against those responsible for Mumbai attacks. While talking about the menace of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Singh said that, "Unfortunately, there is no will on part of Pakistan to punish those responsible for terrorist attacks in Mumbai."

"This is where partnership of India and the US could make the difference," Singh told Obama. Ahead of his departure to Brazil, Singh told reporters that Obama had also assured him that India would get access to Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, who had confessed to plotting the Mumbai attacks. The two leaders, while reviewing the Indo-US ties, expressed satisfaction at the "good progress" made in the relations since they met last in November last year here.

 The Prime Minister, who attended the Nuclear Security Summit here yesterday, warned of dangers posed by nuclear explosives falling into the hands of non-state actors posing danger to India and other countries.With Pakistan obviously on his mind, he pitched for "zero tolerance" against individuals and groups which engage in illegal trafficking of atomic explosives and announced at the summit India's decision to set up a 'Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership'.

 Though he had two brief encounters with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani here, Singh said he did not discuss any bilateral issue with him. The Prime Minister said he had only congratulated him on the passage of a key constitutional reforms package in Pakistan's National Assembly, lower house of Parliament, that makes him "more powerful personality" in that country's politics.

During his stay in Washington, Singh also met French President Nicolas Sarkozy and discussed bilateral ties and invited him to visit India.

Ajay Kaul in Washington
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