Era of accusation should end: PM to Gilani

PM Manmohan Singh met his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to give a push to normalisation of bilateral relations marked by "shrinking" trust deficit.

Zeenews Bureau

Addu, Maldives: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Thursday, termed as productive his meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Maldives on the sidelines of the SAARC summit.

Manmohan Singh said that he is happy with the progress made between both the countries.

Praising his Pakistani counterpart Dr Singh said, “I always believed that Gilani is a man of peace.”

Agreeing with Dr Singh, Gilani said, “We had very good meeting. We are moving in a positive direction ahead.”

Giving positive signals, Manmohan Singh said the next round of talks should be "far more productive" and bring the two countries closer to each other.

Raising the issue of terrorism, the Prime Minister told Gilani that it is imperative to bring 26/11 perpetrators to justice.

In order to look forward in Indo-Pak peace process Dr Singh said the era of accusation and counter accusation should be left behind.

Gilani said all bilateral core issues including Kashmir, Sir Creek and Trade were discussed.

Before the meeting, the two prime ministers shook hands and posed for photos. When the photographers pressed for a hand shake again Gilani responded "once more" and the two leaders shook again for the shutterbox.

This was followed by a brief delegation level talks after which the two leaders met separately. Trade and terror was among other issues which was on the agenda.

The delegation members included External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

From the Pakistani side, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Interior Minister Rehman Malik were among those present.

On the eve of the Singh-Gilani parleys, Krishna met Khar at least thrice yesterday.

Krishna said there was "shrinking" trust deficit between the two countries though he asked Pakistan not to allow terrorism from its soil. Khar reciprocated by saying that her country`s soil would not be allowed to carry out terror attacks.

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