New York, Sep 29 IANS | 10 months ago

India Sunday told Pakistan that peace on the Line of Control had to be a precondition to moving forward with bilateral talks.


Addressing media persons after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif held their first meeting here, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon said the meeting had helped both sides "have some amount of understanding of how to move forward".

"We strongly raised the issue of cross-border terrorism, and said that peace on the LoC (in Jammu and Kashmir) has to be a precondition for normalisation of the relationship," he said.

"My impression from the meeting was that it was useful. We need to work hard in the next few months to take it forward," said Menon.

"Today's meeting dealt with the relationship as it is today... we had to deal with what is overwhelmingly happening on the Line of Control... we dealt with the issue of getting it out of the way," he said to a question.

He said both prime ministers spoke of the desire for better relations, and the difficulties that are in the way.

Menon said Pakistan had raised the issue of violence in its Balochistan province and of India's alleged interference in Pakistan's internal affairs.

"There is no proof of any export of terror from India... wish I could say the same for the other side," said Menon to a question on India allegedly fostering terrorism in Balochistan.

The LoC that divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries has seen frequent violations of the 2003 ceasefire in the last few months.

On Aug 6, five Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani armymen in Poonch on the LoC, triggering anger in India and calls for the Manmohan-Sharif talks to be called off. On Thursday, 12 people, including three Indian Army personnel, were killed in a fidayeen attack in Jammu region.

(Posted on 29-09-2013)