Meeting of PMs linked to delivery on issues by Pakistan: Salman Khurshid

Last Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 23:13

Bishkek: A meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York will require "an atmosphere" and delivery by Islamabad on issues raised by New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Thursday.

"You want a meeting at the highest level. There has to be an atmosphere for it. There has to be a desire on both sides to meet which I can imagine is there, but the context, circumstances, and prevailing conditions have to be looked at," Khurshid told reporters here.

"We have been saying this repeatedly that there are some issues on which some delivery and some satisfaction are to be shown," he said ahead of a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of a SCO meet in the Kyrgyzstan capital.

Khurshid`s remarks were an apparent reference to India`s call for Pakistan to take action against perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and steps to curb activities of anti-India militant leaders like Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed.

Pakistan has been pushing for a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. India has been non-committal on the meeting.

Khurshid said he would come face-to-face with Aziz, the advisor to Sharif on Foreign Affairs, at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet but insisted their talks would be an informal affair.
Asked about issues he is likely to take up with Aziz during the meeting tomorrow, Khurshid said, "I am sure we will have a chance to come face-to-face and discuss informally. We haven`t sorted out anything formally in advance but let`s see how things go."

He added: "It`s very difficult not to meet him. We are sitting in the same building. We are not concentrating on any major bilateral, we are concentrating on the SCO.

"But since we are all going to have a lot of time we are going to use it for anything that is usefully discussed, exchanged."

Khurshid said some groundwork for his talks with Aziz had
been done in Delhi. "There were some contacts."

Once the atmospherics improve, one can go to the next step, he added.

Asked about the continuance of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, Khurshid said, "We had an unfortunate incident at the LoC. Only two days ago, there was firing on both sides.

"It is not the best of circumstances in which you want to proceed. Let`s see how things happen, how things shape up. But a call finally has to be taken by the leadership of both sides."

Relations between the two countries soured after five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops on the Indian side of the LoC on August 6. Both sides have accused each other of violating the truce along the LoC.

Asked about talks in some circles that there was a difference in the mode of firing, with Pakistan being more aggressive and India retaliating to ward off such attacks, Khurshid said, "We are going in circles. Governments over the years have been saying that let`s find a way of overcoming this problem.

"It`s partly something that can be contained, something that will take a long time to resolve but despite that we had the composite dialogue, dialogue for good reason. But it was tragic that it came to an end. Then there was resumed dialogue, which still continues but at what speed and at what context will obviously depend upon prevailing conditions during which the dialogue is to be examined."

Khurshid also said he would take the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest with any of the delegates present in Bishkek.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 23:13

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