Indian, Pakistani PMs agree to reduce Kashmir tensions

Published: September 29, 2013
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) meets with his Pakistani counterpart Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the New York Palace Hotel on September 29, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) meets with his Pakistani counterpart Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the New York Palace Hotel on September 29, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK: The meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the New York Palace Hotel ended with both PMs agreeing to reduce violence over their disputed border in Kashmir and restore ceasefire.

Singh and Sharif met for a little more than an hour on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly amid heightened tensions and political pressure.

At arrival in the hall‚ the two Prime Ministers warmly shook hands and introduced their delegations to each other before proceeding for the meeting behind closed doors.

Officials from both sides stated that the talks happened in a “friendly atmosphere” and covered various issues of bilateral interest including terrorism, tensions along the border, Mumbai attacks and trade between the neighbouring states.

Nawaz Sharif extended his Indian counterpart an invitation to visit Pakistan, which Manmohan Singh accepted and reciprocated with an invitation to visit India.

The general understanding which emerged from the discussion was that trade and other matters between the two countries could be pursued after basic issues like terrorism had been dealt with.

Meeting ‘useful and constructive’

Minutes after the meeting, Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani talked with reporters, describing the meeting in positive terms.

Jilani confirmed that the two countries had decided to seek peace through setting up a meeting between the Directors General Military Operations (DGMOs) of both sides.

He said there was a resolve to eliminate problems between the two countries, but a date for future talks had not been set.

Menon, in a detailed question/answer session, affirmed his impression of the talks as “useful and constructive.”

“My impression was, it was useful and constructive. There was clearly a desire from both sides to have a better relationship. I think what we need to do is work hard on the relationship in the next months.”

While responding to questions from the media, Shankar said the prime ministers had pledged to “restore ceasefire and make sure it stays in place”.

When asked if anything specific had been gleaned from the talks, Menon said that the stage for broader dialogue had not arrived yet.

“Both sides want to see a better India-Pakistan relationship than we have right now. Both want peace and tranquility along the Line of Control. The stage of broader dialogue has not come yet.”

He did confirm that the issues of Siachen and Sir Creek had been part of the discussion, and the Pakistani Prime Minister had expressed readiness to respond to Mumbai attacks.

“On the Pakistani side, Nawaz Sharif mentioned the incidents of terrorism his country had been suffering from. From our side, the Indian Prime Minister mentioned Mumbai attacks. Nawaz said that any due action will be taken now that the Pakistani judicial commission is in India to complete its investigations.”

At the same time, Menon also said that when the issue of Balochistan was mentioned in the meeting, Manmohan Singh had explicitly stated that there was no question of India interfering in Balochistan.

“The PM has clarified,” said Menon, “that there is no question of India interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs or at least no evidence. If any evidence does turn out, we’ll be happy to look into it.”

Menon reiterated that the real and broader outcomes will crucially depend on how relations between the two countries are maintained in the months ahead.

Going in with a ‘positive mind’

Earlier, Nawaz said that he is going in with a positive mind and is hopeful of a positive outcome hours before his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Nawaz Sharif has maintained that he wants to pick up the threads of Pakistan’s relations with India from where it was left off in 1999.

“Acts of terror are unfortunate but they should not derail the dialogue process,” Nawaz had said.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Malik
    Sep 29, 2013 - 6:55PM

    Oh dear, a lot have changed now. We expect india to talk for our interest. Negotiation is a bilateral process. Mr.MMS should not give such statements. The security of whole region is at stake. Now we are paying the price and after a year or so other countries could face worse.Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Sep 29, 2013 - 7:04PM

    Mian Sahib is hopeful, but if we look at the history of Pakistan and India it does not bring any good feelings, as India is Pakistan’s number one enemy and will ever remain number one enemy till the last day of the world.


  • Another Pakistani
    Sep 29, 2013 - 7:09PM

    Picking up threads from 1999, when the world dynamics have changed all over in 14 years, won’t be a good idea


  • GS@Y
    Sep 29, 2013 - 7:27PM

    Why can’t Nawaz Sharif get his priorities right? What is wrong with him? He should stop trying to be an international statesman, come home immediately, and take steps on terrorism on an emergency basis. People are dying everyday; this is no time to be wasting energy or political capital on talks with a hamstrung and uninterested Indian government.


  • jssidhoo
    Sep 29, 2013 - 7:33PM

    I never thought anything will come out of these talks both of them do not have the real power in there countries . Even if they take some decisions those will not be implemented as they do not have the power in their respective countries.


  • aqib
    Sep 29, 2013 - 7:36PM

    This shows the mentality consistent with no self confidence. The opponent humiliates you, and you are still hoping for a good outcome.


  • A2Z
    Sep 29, 2013 - 7:49PM

    Oh Mr Businessman have some self respect. They are playing dirty politics in India and trying to get support of masses by anti-Pakistan rhetoric. First it was Manhoman Singh in UN and now Lalit Modi is also on the same lines. They are not interested in peace.


  • Dj
    Sep 29, 2013 - 8:10PM

    Yes positive outcome just like what happened in Peshawar today. Well done NS.


  • idol
    Sep 29, 2013 - 8:19PM

    Our Eastern ” Bullies” will never agree to fair deals. Period.


  • Mc
    Sep 29, 2013 - 8:34PM

    With no one from the establishment as advisers, this is a dead fish. No one will believe NS


  • Hashmi
    Sep 29, 2013 - 8:39PM

    Indian PM terms Pakistan an “epicentre of terrorism” n Kashmir integral part of India. As per Indian papers, major terrorist attacks within India were Indian State planned/designed. Indian minister directly imply ISI n Pak-Army not on the same tone with civilian government of Pakistan regarding honorable Pak-PM wish/desire to sit n resolve outstanding issues with India. In view of such Indian comments/statements one wonder What’s the idea to even talk to such self center Indian leaders. Maybe, Pak-goodwill gestures are not what India deserve, it might be better to discuss issues in their language.


  • Pakistani
    Sep 29, 2013 - 8:46PM

    Indian hippocracy! When it suits them they internationalize the issue like extremism and when it suits them they talk for bilateral negotiations on issues like Kashmir.


  • Arijit Sharma
    Sep 29, 2013 - 9:17PM

    @Pakistani: “… Indian hippocracy! When it suits them they internationalize the issue like extremism and when it suits them they talk for bilateral negotiations on issues like Kashmir. … “

    Our policies are not made in the zoo.


  • Furqan Hafeez
    Sep 29, 2013 - 9:18PM

    For me, the biggest reliefe coming out of this meeting would be our media getting out of Aman Ki Aasha frenzy and do its business as usual.


  • hedgefunder
    Sep 29, 2013 - 9:34PM

    You need to get your facts right ! Also which Modi are you referring to? Its obvious that you really don’t know much !
    Lalit Modi is the man who created IPL, Narendra Modi is BJP Chief Minister of Gujarat !


  • hedgefunder
    Sep 29, 2013 - 9:39PM

    Thank your lucky stars, that you have so called democratically elected government, as more than half your nation’s existence has been managed the men in boots and even today they have lot of say in your policies ! rest assure, the shots are called from Pindi not Islamabad !
    Don’t forget what happened to East Pakistan, as it was your policies that cost you that half of nation.


  • Anjaan
    Sep 29, 2013 - 9:46PM

    There should not be any illusion on these points :

    1. Normalization of relations will never be on Pakistan’s terms, on Kashmir.
    2. India’s territorial integrity will never be compromised in Kashmir.

    Any expectations to the contrary, would be waste of time.Recommend

  • Last Word
    Sep 29, 2013 - 10:24PM

    During these talks,there was much emphasis on the cross-border violations by Pakistan which is the major obstacle in normalising relations between the two countries. It is the interest of Pakistan to come out of the denial mode and stop these violations as the same have been exposed time and again eg 26/11, Kargil and killing of hundreds of militants crossing LoC etc. India has the backing of whole Western world and other major countries on this issue, whereas no proof has been presented by Pakistan so far of India’s interference in Baluchistan as pointed out by the Indian Foreign Secretary.


  • Razi
    Sep 29, 2013 - 10:37PM

    its Narendara Modi…..Lalit Modi is zero these days thanks to BCCI


  • Xnain
    Sep 29, 2013 - 10:39PM

    A banner outside the UN by protesting Kashmiris summed it all.
    “India is not world’s greatest democracy, but greatest hypocrisy”.


  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 29, 2013 - 10:48PM

    Seems both PM had the meeting to decide the date of future meeting to discuss the agenda of the next meeting………………nothing is going to materialise till Pakistan really does something concrete on the issue of terrorism. Some movement on Mr. Hafiz S. will do………..


  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam (retd)
    Sep 29, 2013 - 10:52PM

    An Eyewash. Indian PM plays the same record on and on again.


  • Shahbaz Khan
    Sep 29, 2013 - 11:01PM

    Three blasts in Peshawar in last eight days. Pakis can’t handle their own nation and want Kashmir. More blasts to come.


  • Prakash
    Sep 29, 2013 - 11:04PM

    @Pakistani: Terrorism is International issues which MMS referred in UNG happening from Africa to Asia and Kashmir is bilateral issue which both India and Pakistan agreed in Shimla Agreement.


  • R. Subramanian
    Sep 29, 2013 - 11:50PM

    I feel pity for Pakistan people, actually they are suffering because of their Government’s wrong policy on terrorism, initially Pakistan Government that terrorism will affect only India alone, but now terrorism has become a Frankenstein monster for Pakistan… Its not going to be easy for Pakistan Government alone to stop this monster. It has to be a joint effort between Pakistan and other nations (including India) to stop this blood bath in Pakistan.

    To eradicate this problem, first an honest effort has to be started by Pakistan Government, ISI and Pakistan army to stop the terrorism, if they think India specific terror groups has to be maintained and other terror groups can be destroyed means it won’t work…. because all these groups are same only, they are having blind hatred and they are against the humanity.

    Pakistan has to destroy all the groups… this terrorism is not only affecting Pakistan alone, its affecting India, Afghan and rest of the world. So for the sake of humanity Pakistan should act against terrorism. If still Pakistan thinks it can still encourage terrorism against India means the real loser will be Pakistan only NOT India.

    For safety and well being of Pakistan people, terrorism has to be stopped, for that Pakistan Government and its agencies has to stop supporting terrorism. If they don’t accept the problem and speak ill of India nothing is going to happen the ultimate sufferer will be Pakistan alone.


  • Yousaf
    Sep 30, 2013 - 1:21AM

    @Syed A. Mateen:
    I guess britian is the bigger enemy due to whom Kashmir issue exist. Wheras biggest enemy is Israel


  • sm
    Sep 30, 2013 - 1:40AM

    The picture says it all. Singh seems to be staring into nothingness and Sharif is looking at him thinking this is a waste of time.


  • Peshawari
    Sep 30, 2013 - 1:56AM

    Ofcourse there is no terrorism in Pakistan. People kill themselves in great numbers in Peshawar, soldiers martyr themselves all over Pakistan, and the Shiaslove to commit mass suicides all over the land of the pure. They all deserve to die any way just to prove that there is no terrorism in Pakistan.


  • Waseem
    Sep 30, 2013 - 2:02AM

    for the best interests of our children both countries need to live like best fellows who take care of each other in bad times. Both will touch the heights of prosperity in a very short time.


  • Neutral Observer
    Sep 30, 2013 - 2:08AM

    Nor Pak and neither India can convince each other even with solid reasons.

    Let both countries spend the biggest chunk of budget in defense and let people suffer poverty. Those who don’t want peace their business is all about creating conflict between both countries.


  • Vakil
    Sep 30, 2013 - 2:17AM

    Nice photo opportunity … but far LESS than the kind witnessed in Kathmandu (SAARC Conference or something) a decade ago – President Musharraf’s “impromptu hand-shake” at the dias with PM Vajpayee … that was the high-benchmark… this one was relatively was an eyewash…. the end-result of course is pretty much the same… neither forwards, nor backwards.


  • Kumar
    Sep 30, 2013 - 2:56AM

    @Waseem … with or without anything that Pakistan can do (other than a war), India is trying and will progress. There is no stopping the progress. Its place in the world and prosperity for its people is not dependent upon Pakistan. Pakistan needs to tackle its issues on its own.

    All that India needs a better border fence.Then there will be no cross border intrusion an life can progress.


  • Syed Jalal Kashmiri
    Sep 30, 2013 - 6:45AM

    We always hear this slogan “Kashmir is an integral part of India,” yet absolutely no right of Kashmiris to choose their destiny. Kashmiris are living in an open-air prison, suffering kidnap, rape, and murder by Indian soldiers. It is 66 years, and Kashmir is still not normalized and Kashmiris are not treated as human beings, let alone as citizens. Its time Kashmir issue is resolved by the UN through plebiscite vote. I ask Pakistan and all our brother Muslim nations to boycott India until it listens to the Kashmiri demands.


  • Last Word
    Sep 30, 2013 - 9:01AM

    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam (retd):
    ‘An eyewash. Indian PM plays the same record on and on again.’
    Col, agree with your comment but being a former Pak army officer you would in a better position to know whether the Indian PM is speaking the truth or not as these violations have been happening right from the times of late Zia and continuing till date. However, Pakistan continues to remain in the mode of denial and no Pakistani wants to be reminded of the same as according to their own perception feel that they are on the right track and allege India to be harping on the same issue. Let me tell you clearly that there will be no peace between the two countries till such time Pakistan abandons this self-destructive policy as the same has resulted in setting its own house is on fire while trying to burn the neighbour’s house for the past three decades.


  • Anon
    Sep 30, 2013 - 3:57PM

    MMS is indirectly giving an open invitation to NS to do terrorist attacks on Indian soil.
    Still remember the clip in which NS ordering his men to do terrorist attacks in India.


  • anwar kamal
    Sep 30, 2013 - 8:04PM

    Both of you agree.But who makes chaos ?


  • A2Z
    Sep 30, 2013 - 8:34PM

    Yeah its Narindra Modi. Facts are right but only name is wrong. You cannot deny that they are involved in dirty politics of Pakistan bashing to get votes in the elections. In Pakistan there is no more India bashing politics. Parties cannot bag votes and come into the government by bashing India but people are more interested in Pakistan’s internal issues. Pakistanis lived under Marshal Law but they are more matured as a democratic nation despite India’s long history of democracy.


  • Alann
    Oct 2, 2013 - 3:23AM

    @A2Z:”Pakistanis lived under Marshal Law but they are more matured as a democratic nation despite India’s long history of democracy.”

    Pakistan’s elections ended in May 2013. 5 Indian soldiers were killed in August 2013 soon after India hinted at peace. Pakistan itself gave BJP and India(ns) a reason to bash Pakistan. Don’t even talk of ‘democracy’ in Pakistan, and more than that don’t even talk of ‘maturity’ of Pakistan(is) compared to India; Your own rulers have ruined your country by projecting neighbour country India as an enemy all these years and keeping everyone illiterate and poor while the rulers themselves got incredibly rich. Pakistan’s own policies have led it to where it is today, on the brink of total destruction from within, whereas India is slowly but steadily progressing towards being a developed nation.


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