Zardari-Manmohan meeting positive, says Pakistan


Islamabad : Pakistan has termed the meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Russia as positive but said no conditions should be laid down for resuming the sub-continental dialogue that New Delhi suspended in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

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“We are of the viewpoint that the negotiations should not be conditional as we cannot understand each other without negotiations so we expect to make dialogue result oriented and irreversible,” Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit told a private TV channel Wednesday.

Zardari and Manmohan Singh had met Tuesday in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) regional summit that they attended as observers.

“Excellency, I am pleased to meet you. But I have a limited mandate to tell you that the Pakistani territory can’t be used for acts of terror against India,” Manmohan Singh had said at the first meeting of the two leaders after the Mumbai carnage that India has blamed on elements operating from Pakistan.

Zardari looked slightly flustered, but soon the two leaders settled down for one-on-one talks.

India has consistently maintained that the dialogue with Pakistan can be resumed only after Islamabad takes credible action against the perpetrators of the Nov 26-29 Mumbai attacks that claimed over 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners.

Manmohan Singh reiterated this Wednesday, saying India would review Pakistan’s actions against anti-India terror outfits before deciding on resuming the composite dialogue mid-July.

The prime minister said he would wait for the outcome of the talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries, who are expected to meet within a month, before taking a decision on resuming the composite dialogue.

“The purpose of this meeting (between foreign secretaries) is to find what Pakistan had done and what it plans to do on terrorist activities against India,” Manmohan Singh told reporters on board his special plane while returning home from Yekaterinburg.

Signalling India’s willingness to make peace with Pakistan, Manmohan Singh said he had asked Zardari to show the same determination in preventing terrorist attacks against India as it had shown in combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban.