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Suspense continues over PM-Sharif meet

Last Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 - 21:46

New Delhi: India on Friday kept up the suspense over the possibility of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York later this month even as it cited the "harsh reality" of continued terror and pressed for indications of seriousness to address it.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said a final decision on the meeting will be taken by the Prime Minister.

"The Prime Minister`s programme is still in the process of being firmed up," Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said, adding she could not say whether or not the meeting would take place.

She was responding when asked by reporters here whether the two Prime Ministers would be meeting when both are in New York to attend the UN General Assembly later this month.

Singh, who will leave for the US on September 25, will be in New York from September 27 to 30.

"We have serious concerns on many things that we have conveyed to Pakistan over a period of time. We need some satisfaction. We need some deliveries. We need some indications that there is seriousness on the items that we have indicated to them, Khurshid said.

"Dismantling of terror infrastructure is a critical point. Accountability for what happened in Mumbai (on Nov 26, 2008) is another critical point. At least some beginning has to be made," he said when asked whether Singh and Sharif will meet.

When pointed out that Sharif has made "positive" statements recently, she quoted the Indian Prime Minister to say that there are certain "harsh realities" on the ground.

Elaborating, she said "the harsh reality on the ground is that we continue to face acts of terrorism by groups operating from Pakistan and territories under the control of Pakistan.

"There are also many persons engaging in hostile propaganda against India, who continue to roam freely in Pakistan. Despite repeated commitments from the highest level in Pakistan and very positive statements, there is very little progress in efforts to punish those responsible for the Mumbai attacks. These are the harsh realities. So let us see what happens."


First Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 - 21:46

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