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Stop ceasefire violations, terror from Pak soil: PM tells Sharif

Last updated on: September 29, 2013 22:39 IST

Stop ceasefire violations, terror from Pak soil: PM tells Sharif

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday did some plain speaking with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif laying down the precondition of end to violations of ceasefire along the LoC for progress towards resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue on various issues.

There was no major outcome from the hour-long meeting between the two prime ministers although it was announced that the Directors General of Military Operations of the two countries have been tasked to come up with a clear plan to restore ceasefire and the way forward to ensure that it remains in force and in place.

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff

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Stop ceasefire violations, terror from Pak soil: PM tells Sharif

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External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh were also present at the meeting. From Pakistani side, Sharif's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz was among those who attended the meeting.

No timeframe was set for this but the Indian side said they would like to address the problem as soon as possible. Stability along the LoC and shutting down of the terror machinery on the Pakistan soil directed at India formed the core agenda for Singh in his first-ever meeting with the recently-elected Sharif.

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Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff

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Stop ceasefire violations, terror from Pak soil: PM tells Sharif

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Sharif drove to Singh's hotel New York Palace in midtown Manhattan for the meeting.

The two prime ministers extended invitations to each other for official visits but no dates were indicated. It is unlikely that Singh would achieve his desire of visiting Pakistan where he was born 81 years ago, given the current state of bilateral ties and the fact that his tenure is nearing its end.

For the record, India's National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon told a media briefing at which both Indian and Pakistani journalists were present that the meeting was "cordial, useful and constructive". Singh also demanded effective action to bring to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, he said the talks that came against the grim backdrop of twin terror attacks near Jammu on Thursday.

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Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff

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Stop ceasefire violations, terror from Pak soil: PM tells Sharif

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Unfazed by the demand by the Bharatiya Janata Party for calling off his meeting in the wake of the attacks, Prime Minister Singh decided to go ahead with the meeting.

Menon said the immediate priority is to "get out of the situation" which the two countries were because of cross border terrorism and LoC ceasefire violations.

Singh told Sharif that "peace on LoC is a precondition" for improvement in ties. The two leaders agreed to see improvement in situation on the LoC where ceasefire violations are taking place on the Pakistani side.'

At the meeting, Singh raised the issue of continued cross-border terrorism and the support groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa led by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed get from the Pakistan government.

On Mumbai attack investigations in Pakistan which India feels is not making any progress, Sharif told Singh that action will be taken against the perpetrators. In this context he referred to the visit of his country's judicial committee to India recently.

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Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff

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Stop ceasefire violations, terror from Pak soil: PM tells Sharif

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Sharif said Pakistan also suffers from terrorism. Asked how hopeful the Indian side was about Pakistan taking action on India's concern, Menon said proof of success and usefulness of the meetings would be known only in the months to come.

He said both leaders desire to have better relations but no decision on another meeting between them was taken at this stage.

At another briefing five blocks away, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Abbas Jilani described the meeting "extremely positive and useful". "The main purpose was to create a conducive environment to discuss and resolve all outstanding issues," he said.


Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff

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