Nawaz Sharif says will be 'very happy' to meet Indian PM

United Nations, Sept 25: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said he was looking forward to his meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh as he hoped to build on progress made in bilateral ties during his last stint as premier.

"I will be very happy to meet him (Singh) and we hope to pick up the threads from where we left in 1999," Sharif told reporters inside the UN building in New York.

Sharif was referring to his historic meeting with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who travelled to Lahore by bus in 1999 for bilateral talks. He spoke after emerging from a meeting held adjacent to a room where External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid was holding talks with a Palestinian delegation.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Singh confirmed he would meet Sharif on the margins of the UN General Assembly. In a statement issued before his departure for the US, Singh said: "I also look forward to bilateral meetings with the leaders of some of our neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan."

Singh and Sharif are expected to meet in New York on September 29. The issue of terrorism emanating from Pakistan is expected to figure prominently in the meeting.

India has maintained that terrorism from Pakistan soil and territories under its control are a matter of concern. India has also expressed concern at the lack of progress in to Pakistan's efforts to prosecute those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Despite a downturn in bilateral ties after five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops on the Line of Control in August, Sharif has been pushing for a meeting with Singh in New York.


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