News

India, Pakistan Discuss Terrorism in Rare Top-Level Meeting

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) shakes hands with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari during a meeting in New Delhi, April 8, 2012.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) shakes hands with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari during a meeting in New Delhi, April 8, 2012.
Kurt Achin

The leaders of India and Pakistan have spoken face to face during a rare shared meal in New Delhi. They talked frankly on subjects ranging from terrorism to disputed Kashmir.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari for lunch at his New Delhi residence Sunday, and indicated he may soon reciprocate the Pakistani leader's visit.

"President Zardari has also invited me to visit Pakistan," he said. "I would be very happy to visit Pakistan at a mutually convenient date."

Zardari is on a private visit to India. His stated purpose is to offer prayers at a Sufi shrine in the Indian city of Ajmer, where he headed aboard an Indian military helicopter after lunch with Singh.

President Zardari expressed gratitude for the opportunity to speak face to face with India's leader.

"India and Pakistan are neighbors," said Zardari. "We would like to have better relations with India. We've spoken on all topics that we could have spoken about, and we're hoping to meet on Pakistan soil very soon."

Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai says the luncheon meeting, which lasted about 40 minutes, included discussions of a key irritant in the India-Pakistan relationship.

"The leaders discussed the problem of terrorism, which is a major issue by which the Indian people will judge progress in the bilateral relationship," said Mathai. "We have told President Zardari that it was imperative to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice."

That Mumbai attack, carried out by gunmen in November 2008 and known in India simply as "26/11," killed 166 people at hotels and other sites.

India accuses Pakistan of sheltering planners of the attack, including Hafiz Saeed, founder of the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba. Last week, the United States put Saeed on the top of its wanted terrorist list, and put out a $10 million bounty offer for anyone who helps secure his arrest. Saeed responded with public taunts from Pakistani territory.

Indian Foreign Secretary Mathai said the Indian prime minister raised the issue at lunch.

"We have also mentioned the activities of Hafiz Saeed"said Mathai. "President Zardari said the matter needed to be discussed further between the two governments."

The chief law enforcement ministers of both countries were scheduled to meet on the issue of the Mumbai attack suspects later Sunday to seek more concrete progress.

Separately, the two leaders discussed disputed Kashmir. India offered to provide humanitarian assistance following an avalanche that buried and killed more than 100 Pakistani soldiers in the disputed Siachen glacier region.

The two sides committed in principle to liberalizing trade and people to people contacts, including looser visa agreements for citizens of India and Pakistan to visit the other.


This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Abdul sattar
April 10, 2012 3:08 AM
My Question is simple.
Why Indian Army is killig Muslims in Kashmir.
Why indian army kill inocent people in kashmir.
When Innocent Kashmiris kill by Indian army then they become terrarists.

by: Anon
April 09, 2012 8:39 AM
For your information Pakistan has never tried to be a part of terrorism and personally I think Pakistan and India should have a cordial relationship.

by: singh jet
April 09, 2012 6:35 AM
prime Minister Manmohan Singh have to be care full with this dangerous neibor. Pakistan has alwasy tried to hit other behind to thier backs.
good luck india

by: michael
April 09, 2012 5:46 AM
PM Singh does not want to visit Pakistan, invalidate that, he does want to, but that would be a validation, so that must be invalidated, but then that bring us back to a needed validation! This is how 'diplomatic' situations are created and sustained

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs