India concedes on terror stance, Balochistan, Pak agrees not to mention Kashmir in joint statement

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Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16 (ANI): India appeared to make two key concessions to Pakistan on Thursday by first agreeing that action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed, and second to accept Pakistan's request to look into information on threats in Balochistan and other areas.

These concessions on the part of New Delhi suggest that composite dialogue process between the two countries will not take place any time soon and that the post 26/11 scenario remains.

Pakistan on its part agreed that no mention would be made of Kashmir in the joint statement.

These concessions by both sides appeared as part of a joint communiqui worked out by the foreign secretaries of the two countries after a significant meeting between Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here this afternoon.

Both leaders agreed during their nearly three-hour-long interaction that terrorism is the main threat to both countries. They also affirmed their resolve to fight terrorism and to cooperate with each other to this end.

According to the communiqui, Prime Minister Singh reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice, while Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan would do everything in its power in this regard.

Gilani said that Pakistan has provided an updated status dossier on the investigations of the Mumbai attacks and had sought additional information/evidence.

Prime Minister Singh said that the dossier is being reviewed.

Both leaders agreed that the two countries would share real time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats.

Both Prime Ministers recognized that dialogue is the only way forward. Action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed.

Prime Minister Singh said that India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues.

According to sources, this seemed to be the point where the two sides differed over the wording.

Prime Minister Singh reiterated India's interest in a stable, democratic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Both leaders agreed that the real challenge is development and the elimination of poverty. Both leaders are resolved to eliminate those factors which prevent our countries from realizing their full potential. Both agreed to work to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence.

Both leaders reaffirmed their intention to promote regional cooperation.

Both Foreign Secretaries should meet as often as necessary and report to the two Foreign Ministers who will be meeting on the sidelines of the forthcoming UN General Assembly.

According to the joint communiqui, the two Prime Ministers had a cordial and constructive meeting during which they considered the entire gamut of bilateral relations with a view to charting the way forward in India - Pakistan relations. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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