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PM-Zardari meet: India for action against infiltration
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September 24, 2008 16:13 IST

With infiltration and ceasefire violations witnessing a rise recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] is expected to seek concrete action by Islamabad [Images] to stop such activities when he meets Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in New York.

An announcement on launch of cross-LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] next month is also expected after the meeting, the first between the two leaders since Zardari became the President earlier this month.

The issue of spurt in ceasefire violations and infiltration is expected to figure prominently in the talks, with Singh likely to underline that such activities do not help in the normalisation of relations and need to cease to ensure conducive atmosphere for carrying on the dialogue process.

Revealing his mind ahead of his meeting with Zardari, Singh said on Tuesday that Pakistan must address the rising issue of cross-border terrorism.

He said India and Pakistan faced "enormous challenges" and "we have to convert these challenges into opportunities and see how peace can be brought and how we can work together."

"We welcome the advent of democracy in Pakistan. We are looking forward to working with them and how we can work together," the prime minister told journalists accompanying him on the US visit.

Official sources accompanying the prime minister said India expects Zardari to come out with steps to end rising incidents of cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations.

It is up to Zardari to find a way out to remove the impediments in normalisation of Indo-Pak relations, they said.

India has been concerned over the spurt in anti-India activities emanating from territories controlled by Pakistan and even said it had put a "strain" on the composite dialogue.

Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon last week said Pakistan needs to fulfill its promises made to India to enable forward movement in the ties which have gone through

"difficult times" recently.

He underlined that an atmosphere free of violence and terror was necessary for the dialogue process between the two countries to move ahead.

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 dur ing the meeting".

India, however, is not pinning too much hope on Zardari's capability to take concrete action, with official sources suggesting that he is not really in charge as there are

multiple power centres.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir reacted sharply to this assessment, saying it was "quite off track" and was "not really helpful".

He asserted that Zardari was performing his duties "very correctly".

Cross-LoC confidence building measures are also high on the agenda of the talks.

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