"I have always maintained that we can choose our friends. But we have no choice with regard to our neighbours," the prime minister told journalists on his way back from St. Petersburg, Russia after attending the G20 Summit of rich and economically influential nations.
"Under normal conditions, I will be happy to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom I respect, who has said the right things about how relations between our two countries should evolve," he said.
"But, there are certain harsh realities on the ground," the prime minister added to the question over the possibility of his meeting with the new Pakistan prime minister when both converge at the UN later this month.
"If terror acts don't stop. If those who voice terrorist thoughts move about freely. If there is no significant progress in bringing the culprits of the Mumbai massacre to book - then these I have to factor in before arriving at a final decision," he added.
Two sets of discussions, officials said, have taken place in the past week for the meeting between the two prime ministers on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
One was between the special envoys appointed by the two prime ministers - India's Satinder Lambah and Pakistan's Shahryar Khan in Dubai.
Another was in Islamabad between Indian High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan and the Pakistan prime minister's national security and foreign policy adviser Sartaj Aziz.
--IANS (Posted on 07-09-2013)