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Modi holds talks with Sharif; raises terror, 26/11 trial

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 17:55 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised issues of terror and the trial in Mumbai attack case in his first bilateral meeting with Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New Delhi on Tuesday.

According to sources, Modi raised the issue of slow pace of trial in 26/11 terror case which was being held in Pakistan and as also India's core concern of terror with the visiting Pakistani leader.

The two leaders also talked about ways to enhance cooperation in the field of trade during the meeting which was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh among others, they said.

The two leaders had a firm handshake and posed for photographers before heading towards the meeting room for talks at the ceremonial Hyderabad House. Ahead of his meeting, Sharif had yesterday said he was carrying a message of peace and intends to pick up the threads with India's new leader Narendra Modi from where he and then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee left off in 1999.

Both governments have a strong mandate and this could help in "turning a new page in our relations", the Pakistan prime minister had said. Sharif's visit is seen as significant by political observers here given that hardline elements in Pakistan have expressed their unhappiness over his responding to the invitation positively.

Sharif will leave for Pakistan later in the day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised issues of terror and the trial in Mumbai attack case in his first bilateral meeting with Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New Delhi on Tuesday. According to sources, Modi raised the issue of slow pace of trial in 26/11 terror case which was being held in Pakistan and as also India's core concern of terror with the visiting Pakistani leader.

The two leaders also talked about ways to enhance cooperation in the field of trade during the meeting which was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh among others, they said.

The two leaders had a firm handshake and posed for photographers before heading towards the meeting room for talks at the ceremonial Hyderabad House. Ahead of his meeting, Sharif had yesterday said he was carrying a message of peace and intends to pick up the threads with India's new leader Narendra Modi from where he and then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee left off in 1999.

Both governments have a strong mandate and this could help in "turning a new page in our relations", the Pakistan prime minister had said. Sharif's visit is seen as significant by political observers here given that hardline elements in Pakistan have expressed their unhappiness over his responding to the invitation positively.

Sharif will leave for Pakistan later in the day.

Modi said the two countries could move towards trade normalisation on the basis of the September, 2012 road-map on political and economic relations. The foreign secretary said the acceptance of the invitation by the SAARC leaders and their presence in the swearing-in ceremony marks a new starting point in the relations.

Modi noted that it was good to see all the eight leaders graciously accepting the invitation and their presence has enriched the celebration of Indian democracy.  "This is a new beginning. This is the first time when all the SAARC leaders have been present on an occasion like this," she said adding one leader wondered whether there should have a SAARC summit.

Asked whether Modi raised the issue of the presence of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Singh said many things including terrorism were discussed. "I don't want to speak more on this."

On whether Kashmir issue was discussed, the foreign secretary said the two Foreign Secretaries will be in touch to see the best way to move forward.

On trade, she said the two leaders discussed the issue of non-discriminatory market access to be given by Pakistan and said the two countries are fully ready to resume normalisation of trade relations at the earliest. Asked whether Modi will travel to Pakistan, Singh said invitations have come and they have been accepted but no dates have been finalised. "Dates have to be worked out," she said.

When queried whether the composite dialogue process would be resumed, she said the foreign secretaries will meet to find a way forward. To another question, she said "we want peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan. However, for such relations to proceed, it is important that terror and violence is brought to an end."

Asked if India was satisfied with the discussions on the 26/11 issue, Singh said the meeting was very constructive and both sides wanted to understand the concerns of the other side.

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