NEW YORK: Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Dr Manmohan Singh held meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session on Sunday and discussed various issues of mutual interest including Kashmir dispute, Sir Creek, Siachen, water, Mumbai attacks, LoC violations, trade and Indian interference in Balochistan. The meeting between the two prime ministers continued for over one hour. Nawaz Sharif has demanded of Manmohan Singh to stop interference in Balochistan. Nawaz Sharif also informed his Indian counterpart regarding the resentment of Pakistani nation regarding no progress regarding Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen and other long standing issues.
While briefing the media after the meeting National Security Advisor to Indian Prime Minister, Shiv Shankar Menon said that the meeting between the two countries remained highly positive and useful. He said that the meeting between the two premiers has provided opportunity for discussion on the problems which are troubling the relationship between the two countries. He said it would be announced in next few months how we will move forward.
He said that both prime ministers are well aware about the difficulties in betterment of matters between the two countries. He said the issue of issuance of visas was not discussed during the meeting but during the past six month a lot of progress has been made to liberalize the visa regime. He said Manmohan Singh talked about terrorism during the meeting. He said both countries have formed committee on the matter of ceasefire. He said it has been asked to the DG MOs of both countries to come forward with the plan to ensure the ceasefire and make ensure that it is enforced. He said that the trade issue was also discussed in the meeting. He said that the issue of tranquility at the LoC and terrorism are needed to be resolved immediately, adding that the leadership of both countries wants good relations with each other. He said that the stage has come to move forward abut the broader issues facing by the two countries.
Shive Shankar Menon did not reply the question of Pakistani journalist for showing flexibility on terrorism issue to move forward.
He said first LoC and terrorism issues should be resolved and then we will move forward regarding composite dialogues, adding that it was not sure that this process will start in one, two years time or in quicker time. He said that there is desire of good relations in both countries.
He said both prime minister extended invitations for visit of each other’s country and both accepted the invitations but no date of visits has been set.
He said Nawaz Sharif talked about the Indian interference in Balochistan but Manmohan categorically denied this allegation and said if there are any evidences these should be provided and India will see into them.
He said that the meeting was positive and useful and results of this meeting would be seen in next few months. He said that the matter of Afghanistan was not discussed in the meeting. He said MFN issue and opening up of new trade routes was discussed in the meeting but no time frame has been given regarding the discussion on these issues.
He said that there is no proof of exporting terrorism from India to any other country.
He said that no time line has been given to give suggestions regarding the improvement of situation at LoC to DG MOs but it will happen as soon as possible.
Menon said Indian will not interfere in the internal matters of Pakistan. He said the agenda of meetings is always is different and today the issues facing by the two countries currently were discussed. He said both countries are neighbours and they would have to improve relations this is the fact there is no role of election camping of India for holding this meeting.
He said it would be proved in next few months that how much this meeting was useful. He said both countries know very well to each other, adding he will not publicly tell what steps should be taken or not for the improvement of the relations between the two countries.
Menon said that issue of action against Mumbai attacks perpetrators and terrorism was discussed meanwhile Nawaz Sharif also said Pakistan itself was facing terrorism. He said judicial commission has also visited India and recorded statements and evidences.
Finance Minister Muhammad Senator Ishaq Dar, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Secretary Jalij Abbass Jilani, Special assistant to prime minister, Tariq Fatimi and Pakistan’s permanent representative in UN Masood khan were part of Pakistani delegation; meanwhile External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, National Security Advisor to prime minister, Shiv Shankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Sajhata Singh and others were part of Indian prime minister’s delegation.
Meanwhile the meeting between the two premiers was held at the breakfast table in hotel of Manhaton. Both went to Palace Hotel in New York for holding one on one meeting.
It was the first meeting between two prime ministers since Nawaz Sharif came to power after a landslide victory in the general election.