Pakistani leader in 'friendly' talks on visit to India

 

The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder: "Relations between India and Pakistan have never really recovered after the 2008 Mumbai attacks"

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The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, has held "friendly" talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a rare visit to India.

"We would like to have better relations," Mr Zardari said after private talks with Mr Singh in Delhi.

The Indian leader said they shared a desire for "normal" relations between their countries.

It was the first visit to India by a Pakistani head of state in seven years. The two men last met in 2009 in Russia.

Mr Singh said he had accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan as soon as mutually acceptable dates were worked out.

Mr Zardari later departed for a visit to a Muslim shrine in Ajmer, 350km (220 miles) south-west of the Indian capital.

The shrine in Ajmer is dedicated to a Sufi saint, Moinudin Chishti, and is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the region, receiving a constant flow of devotees.

Militant issue

While the two leaders were meeting for lunch in private, a wide range of issues is said to have been discussed.

Analysis

Such is the state of relations between South Asia's two long-standing rivals that even a private visit by the Pakistani president to India can create a flutter.

Both leaders said they were very satisfied with their exchange. Nothing much was expected and nothing substantial emerged but the Pakistani president invited Mr Singh to visit his country.

The Indian prime minister said he would be happy to accept although it is not clear when he plans to go.

The two sides still have major political differences over the disputed region of Kashmir and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. India believes Pakistan is protecting those who plotted them. But in the past few months the two sides have made progress in improving trade links and many are hoping that political improvement can follow.

According to India's NDTV news channel, the two leaders agreed that their home secretaries would meet soon to discuss the issue of Hafiz Saeed, head of the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Mr Saeed is accused of masterminding the 2008 militant attacks on Mumbai and Washington has announced a $10m (£6.3m) bounty for his arrest.

India says it has given Pakistan enough evidence to prosecute him but Pakistan says it needs "concrete evidence" before it can launch any legal proceedings.

India also reportedly offered to help Pakistan in its efforts to rescue dozens of people still buried under snow after a massive avalanche engulfed an army camp on the Siachen Glacier in the Himalayas.

Relations between the two countries have been gradually improving since peace talks were derailed after the Mumbai attacks.

Mr Zardari recently backed the lifting of trade restrictions on India, and Pakistan is also talking of dropping a restrictive list of what products it will buy from India.

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 78.

    #55 maverick26
    1 HOUR AGO
    "..So how stupid were the UK and US a public to scream war after 9/11 which was in US soil..."

    ...that would only be relevant if the US & UK had cut off relations with every muslim country. They certainly did not, quite the opposite

    If you think London was bombed because of the Afghan or Iraq Wars, then why did 9/11 happen ?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 77.

    I'm really dissapointed with our so called president. Rather than giving a dam about his own citizens (namely those Pakistani soldiers who are trapped underneath the avalanche) he is swanning off to India to grab a few cheap headlines. Shame on you Mr President! You are a disgrace and should hold your head in shame. This meeting should have been postponed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 76.

    Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project (also called peace pipeline) was aimed at constructing a 1,620-mile (2700 km) pipeline from Iran's South Pars fields in the Persian Gulf to Pakistan's major cities of Karachi and Multan and then further to Delhi, India.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 75.

    68.Lazorwalrus - "........both the UK government and the US government know that Pakistan is maintaining the Taliban, training them, arming them, yet they overlook it currently. Why?....."

    The over looking is on your part - the US are trying to work with the democratic elements of Pakistan to weed out the Taliban & the sponsoers, hence the multiple, ragular drone attacks in the NW Frontere...

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 74.

    Can't we all just get along?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 73.

    We are the same people only divided by the man made religion. Welcome any contacts with our brothers.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 72.

    Singh raised concerns about security; he insists Pakistan show its seriousness about reining in terrorist groups (behind the Mumbai attack). India has blamed the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group & demanded that Islamabad crack down on them. This situation has been escalated by US slapping $10M bounty on Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. I'm always suspicious about US timing on issues such as this.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 71.

    "60.
    maverick26
    56. spoton - Is it fair to blame the media for projecting hatred towards pakistan..when time and again the Pakistani's prove them right!!"

    Its fair to blame the media, religious leaders, politicians and unsatisfied unsatisfiable capitalists for most if not all of the tensions in the world between people. People are born social innocents and continue to be so until moulded.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 70.

    #54 Vast majority of people always want peace. But it is those few individuals who don't want it, determine how the world runs. Be it Taliban, AQaida, Let, JuD, etc. - get it? It is easy to say others are stupid just because they don't agree with you. What is stupidity about pointing to the fact that whenever the Ind-Pak get together, it is the Indians who pay with their blood?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 69.

    Vettel - you are spoton mate!! The BBC is as bias as any other 3 rate news organisation when it comes to the developing countries and the third world!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 68.

    Pakistan are probably the worst of the lot right now. Their corruption is very deeply imbedded. The weird thing is, both the UK government and the US government know that Pakistan is maintaining the Taliban, training them, arming them, yet they overlook it currently. Why?

    If we're off weeding out in the East, deal with the roots.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 67.

    President Zardari & Singh have taken advantage visit to discuss all bilateral issues. Singh is very satisfied with the outcome of visit. Zardari has invited Singh to Pakistan, and Singh has said he would be very happy to visit Pakistan on a mutually convenient date.
    There seems more to this visit than religious motivations, especially when you consider the tension between US & Pakistan.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 66.

    To BBC: stop saying this oft-repeated description: "nuclear-armed rivals" for Ind and Pak. Do you say the same when US and China or UK and France heads meet each other? Do not create this stereotype image and also stop creating this fear that there could be nuclear war if these two countries don't get along well - it is paranoia.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 65.

    "62.
    U14761436
    Qur'an (3:54) - "And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers."

    India beware!"

    Such tripe - unless you believe "Allah", if He exists, is nationalistic.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 64.

    India better keep its eyes open, lets not hope Pakistan don't repeat history (Kargil War) Because india had no problem beating them again. Enough is Enough.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 63.

    Any contact between the leaders of India & Pakistan, official or otherwise, can only be a good thing. It may be a long way before resolving Kashmir or any cross border pot-shots, but both govts must continue negotiating, not least for affected inhabitants. Pakistan has major internal issues such as ISI and tribal autonomies to handle, it'll be a long road ahead, patience is needed.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 62.

    .

    Qur'an (3:54) - "And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers."

    India beware!

    .

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 61.

    "Comment number 31.chrislabiff Great. Is this relevant to the uk?"

    This is supposed to be an international news site, even if it is the British Broadcast. Get it?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 60.

    56. spoton - Is it fair to blame the media for projecting hatred towards pakistan..when time and again the Pakistani's prove them right!! India which is a major Hindu country rejected the hardlined BJP government 2 terms in a row although most of them hate the current corrupt congress party just to punish them (BJP) for the Gujarat roits. Proof of Indians wanting religious tolerence.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 59.

    Pakistan is the Only Hope and symbol of resistence against the Hindu extremist ideology in South Asia for the Oppressed Minorities in India, But because of encircling the Chinese might West need India to help it out so they are working on Pakistan to make good relations with India so India cud concentrate of China and buy more weapons from the West. India is a Failed State which has no dignity.

 

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