Sharif, Manmohan agree to calm Line of Control first
By Devirupa Mitra | Published: 30th September 2013 08:29 AM |
It was a meeting with no big outcome, but no big chill either. The prime ministers of India and Pakistan on Sunday agreed in New York that they had to first get their borders calm, as an incident on the Line of Control (LoC) further frays ties already battered by repeated ceasefire violations.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised that there would be progress on the prosecution of masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, after Manmohan Singh said “effective action” has to be taken against the terror machinery and bring the guilty to book.
However, the main takeaway from the meeting was the view that border firing should be ‘fixed’, before progress could be made on any front, including trade. There was no joint statement after the meeting — their first after Sharif came to power. Instead, there were separate briefings by both sides.
Briefing the media after the meeting, a rather subdued National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon said, “Both agreed that the pre-condition for forward movement in relationship is really an improvement in the Line of Control, where there have been repeated ceasefire violations. This was discussed at some length.”
Menon said both prime ministers have tasked the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) to “suggest effective means to enforce the LoC ceasefire”.
The two PMs and their delegations met at 10 am EST and talked for nearly 90 minutes.
Stating that the talks were “useful” and “necessary”, Menon said Manmohan raised the issue of terrorism and the need for effective action to bring the 26/11 attack perpetrators to book.
Sharif also brought up the familiar narrative that Pakistan was also suffering from terror attacks and promised action on the 26/11 legal case. The Pakistani judicial commission, which came to India last week to collect statements of witnesses, seems to be the key for Islamabad committing that there would be “further progress”. Menon said Manmohan also raised the issue of charities of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front organisation of Lashkar-e-Toiba, getting budget allocations from Pakistan’s Punjab provincial government.