Manmohan raises LoC, terrorism with Nawaz

New York, Sept 29 : Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday raised a number of prickly issues including border skirmishes and terrorism as he met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York, officials said.

Accepting each other's invitations for visiting their countries, the two South Asian leaders shook hands in a photo-op before heading for their one-on-one meeting.

Singh raised the issue of cross-border terrorism and asked Pakistan to do more to curb terror that emanates from its soil, officials part of the Indian delegation in New York told reporters.

Addressing the media after the meet, India's National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said Singh also raised the issue of action on perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack, known in India as 26/11, and was assured by Sharif on the matter.

"Nawaz Sharif promised Manmohan Singh that he will take stern action against 26/11 attackers," Menon said.

The two Premiers tasked their Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) to come up with a clear plan to restore the ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) and agreed that peace at the border was an important precondition for further talks.

Menon said the Pakistani side raised the issue of turmoil in its Balochistan province but said there was no evidence of "any Indian role there".

Prime Minister Singh had earlier called out Pakistan for being the 'epicentre' of terrorism in the region, setting the tone for a closely watched talk between the two leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

"Terrorism remains a grave threat to security and stability everywhere and extracts a heavy toll of innocent lives around the world. From Africa to Asia, we have seen several manifestations of this menace in the last few days alone. State-sponsored cross-border terrorism is of particular concern to India, also on account of the fact that the epicentre of terrorism in our region is located in our neighbourhood in Pakistan," Singh had said.

He said Pakistan should shut down all 'terrorist machinery' on its soil.

Singh said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and there could not be any compromise with the unity and territorial integrity of India.

"Speaking from this podium yesterday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan spoke of making a new beginning. I reciprocate his sentiments and am looking forward to meeting him tomorrow. India is committed sincerely to resolving all issues with Pakistan, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through bilateral dialogue on the basis of the Simla Agreement. However, for progress to be made, it is imperative that the territory of Pakistan and the areas under its control are not utilized for aiding and abetting terrorism directed against India," the PM said.

"It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down. There must be a clear understanding of the fact Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that there can never, ever, be a compromise with the unity and territorial integrity of India," Singh said.

Nawaz Sharif on Friday addressed the United Nations General Assembly saying he hoped to "make a new beginning" in his country's ties with India.

--IBNS (Posted on 30-09-2013)

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