Ahead of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, India on Friday said Islamabad [Images] needs to fulfill its promises made to enable forward movement in the ties which have gone through "difficult times" recently.
Indicating that Dr Singh will take up with Zardari the issue of continued cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon asserted that an atmosphere free of violence and terror was necessary for the dialogue process between the two countries to move ahead.
"You know the agenda with Pakistan very well," Menon told reporters in Delhi [Images] when asked what would be Dr Singh's message to Zardari when they meet in New York next week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
"We feel that for our dialogue process to move forward, ideally we should be in an atmosphere free of violence and terror," he added.
Contending that both the countries needed to move the dialogue forward in "our mutual interest", he made it clear that Pakistan was required to "demonstrate commitment to various promises that were made before, for instance prevent ceasefire violations or cross-border terrorism. We hope that will be advanced during the meeting."
Asked to respond to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi's remarks that there have been "hiccups" in Indo-Pak ties recently, Menon refused to comment on it, but said, "You all know, this relation has gone through difficult times in the recent past."
"The issue is, are we able to deal with the basic question that stands in the way of relations, in realising the potential of the relations, especially in the last few months, given the kinds of incidents we had," the foreign secretary said.
On the launch of cross-Line of Control trade, Menon said Indiawanted to start it by next month, but suggested that Pakistan was not cooperating.
He said India had in 2005 suggested starting of commerce on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, Poonch-Rawalakote and ideally Kargil-Skardu routes and gave Pakistan a list of items for trade.
Two years ago, Menon said India had also invited business delegation from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to visit Srinagar [Images] after which a similar delegation could go there from this side.
"Unfortunately, so far Pakistan has not yet agreed to that. We were hoping they do that as quickly as possible to render trade meaningful," he said.
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