NEW YORK, (The News): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh (seen above), who met on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly, Sunday agreed to task the DGMOs of both the countries to ensure ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC).
An Indian official said that the two leaders, who met for more than an hour in a New York hotel, decided to task senior military officers to “find effective means to restore the ceasefire” on LoC.
“Both the leaders agreed that the precondition for forward movement in the relationship, which they both desire, is really an improvement of the situation on the LoC,” Indian national security adviser Shivshankar Menon told reporters, referring to the Line of Control in the Himalayan territory.
According to sources both the leaders exchanged greetings in Punjabi language at the beginning of the talks.
During the meeting which started in a cordial atmosphere, both the prime ministers invited each other to visit their respective countries. The invitations were accepted from both sides, but no dates were set.
Briefing the media, Menon termed the meeting as positive and constructive.
“As for how useful and productive the meeting was, I think the only proof will be in the months to come”, he added.
Burning issues like Line of Control (LoC) violations, Indian involvement in Balochistan unrest, the Kashmir dispute, Siahcen, Sir Creek, and cross-border terrorism besides ‘granting’ Most Favourite Nation (MFN) status to India and matters relating to peace between the two countries also came under discussion, he added.
He denied India was fanning unrest in Balochistan.
Menon said that it was decided in the meeting that the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of both the countries would be tasked with ensuring ceasefire on the LoC.
Menon said that Sharif promised “there would be action” on punishing extremists over the Mumbai attack, and said the talks were friendly.
To a question he said that no timeline had been set for the next meeting between the two premiers.
According to Menon no proposal for a reduction in military spending was brought up in the meeting from any side.
Pakistani Foreign Secretary, Jalil Abbas Jilani, addressing a press conference later said that all the core issues including Kashmir dispute were hashed out in the meeting.
“Overall, the meeting was productive as both the leaders consented to find ways to restore calm on the LoC”, Jilani said.
Jilani also confirmed that Pakistan firmly held its stance on the evidence that points to India’s –direct or indirect– hand behind the rampant militancy in Balochistan.
Following Sharif-Singh meeting, talks would be held at the delegation level also.
Pakistan delegation comprised Sartaj Aziz, Khawaja Asif, Ishaq Dar, Tariq Fatemi, Masood Khan and Jalil Abbas Jilani.
Led by PM Manmohan Singh, the Indian delegation was represented by external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and the foreign secretary Sujatha Singh.
It must be mentioned that earlier India had refused to hold a joint press conference or the issuance of a joint communiqué after the talks, sources said.
Initially it was announced that Singh had invited Sharif to have breakfast with him but later the plan was changed for reasons better known to higher officials of both the nations.