Narendra Modi raises concern over terrorism in meeting with Nawaz Sharif

Narendra Modi with Nawaz Sharif 2

New Delhi, May 27: India today raised its concerns with Pakistan over terrorist violence emanating from its soil and asked it to abide by its commitments on the issue.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif agreed that the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries will be in touch to see how to move forward on the bilateral relations.

Briefing the media on the meeting between the two leaders, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said Modi raised India’s concerns relating to terrorism. He remarked that Pakistan must abide by its commitment to prevent territory of Pakistan and the territory under its control used to spread terrorism in India.

Modi also hoped that necessary steps will be taken to expedite the trial in Pakistan relating to Mumbai terror attack case and ensure punishment to the accused. Singh said they decided that the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries would be in touch to explore how to move forward.

Modi said the two countries could move towards trade normalisation on the basis of the September, 2012 road-map on political and economic relations. The Foreign Secretary said the acceptance of the invitation by the SAARC leaders and their presence in the swearing-in ceremony marks a new starting point in the relations.

Modi noted that it was good to see all the eight leaders graciously accepting the invitation and their presence has enriched the celebration of Indian democracy.

“This is a new beginning. This is the first time when all the SAARC leaders have been present on an occasion like this,” she said adding one leader wondered whether there should have a SAARC summit here.

Asked whether Modi raised the issue of the presence of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Singh said many things including terrorism were discussed. “I don’t want to speak more on this.”

On whether Kashmir issue was discussed, the Foreign Secretary said the two Foreign Secretaries will be in touch to see the best way to move forward. On trade, she said the two leaders discussed the issue of non-discriminatory market access to be given by Pakistan and said the two countries are fully ready to resume normalisation of trade relations at the earliest.

Asked whether Modi will travel to Pakistan, Singh said invitations have come and they have been accepted but no dates have been finalised. “Dates have to be worked out,” she said. When queried whether the Composite Dialogue process would be resumed, she said the Foreign Secretaries will meet to find a way forward.

To another question, she said “we want peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan. However, for such relations to proceed, it is important that terror and violence is brought to an end.”  Asked if India was satisfied with the discussions on the 26/11 issue, Singh said the meeting was very constructive and both sides wanted to understand the concerns of the other side.