New Delhi, Oct 1 IANS | 10 months ago

India and Pakistan were moving towards normalising their bilateral ties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday and noted that the first step in the direction had to peace and tranquility on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.


Speaking to reporters on board his special aircraft while returning from New York after attending the UN General Assembly session, the prime minister said the two sides have agreed that their DGMOs (directors general military operations) will meet and work out arrangements for peace along the LoC.

Asked if status of bilateral ties had changed since his "no business as usual" remark following the beheading of a soldier near the LoC in January, the prime minister said: "It is at a stage in a sense that we are moving forward towards normalisation of our relations and the first step has to be peace and tranquility on the Line of Control."

"And for that we have agreed that the DGMOs of the two sides will meet and work out arrangements. It will take time to find out what can be done and what is agreed upon is implemented. But these are all steps towards normalization of the relationship," he added.

The Indian and Pakistani prime ministers met Sep 29 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. The meeting aimed at restarting the dialogue between the two nations in the wake of stalled talks over border killings and a terror attack in Jammu by Pakistani militants.

Asked if he got the impression that Sharif was the master of his own destiny, the prime minister said that his Pakistan counterpart had mentioned all the right things about bilateral relations.

"I very much hope that Nawaz Sharif succeeds. He is the democratically elected prime minister of a neighbouring country and he has said all the right things about Indo-Pakistan relations. So I sincerely hope and pray that he does succeed in carrying out his mission," Manmohan Singh said.

(Posted on 01-10-2013)