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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Modi-Sharif meet better than expected: Sartaj Aziz

HT Correpondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 28, 2014
First Published: 14:09 IST(28/5/2014) | Last Updated: 14:34 IST(28/5/2014)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was told by his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif that terrorism was a mutual concern, Sharif’s adviser Sartaj Aziz said in Islamabad on Wednesday.

“Our PM (Sharif) conveyed to the Indian PM the people and government of Pakistan were committed to fighting terrorism,” Aziz said.

Addressing a press conference after Sharif and his delegation returned from the swearing-in ceremony of Modi as India's new prime minister, Aziz said the meeting between Sharif and Modi was not just a photo op, but its outcome was better than expected.

On the probe into 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Azis said: “They (India) re-iterated the process should be expedited. Nothing new in this… Legal process on 26/11 trial is on. Pakistan has an independent judiciary, let the law take its own course.”

Aziz said the issue of Kashmir was discussed but not substantially during the bilateral meeting. He added Sharif did not meet the Hurriyat leadership as it was a ceremonial visit.

The adviser to the Pakistan PM said the previous Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, wanted to improve relations between the two nations but he could not take along all coalition partners in his government. “This government has a big mandate” he added, hinting at better ties with India in the future.

He also said the two PMs might meet soon. It could happen in September at the United Nations, he added.

In Delhi, India’s new foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said Modi told Sharif if bomb blasts continued, peace talks between the two countries would be lost in the din.

"Talks and good relations can be successful and right only when terrorism is stopped. But if bomb blasts continue, then the talks will be lost in the din. This is what Narendra Modi told Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif," said Sushma Swaraj, who took charge of her ministry on Wednesday.

"We also raised the topic of speedy trials of the 26/11 terror attack and even they said they will work on it," she said.

Terming the talks with SAARC leaders as "successful", she said: "The Prime Minister
told leaders that we should leave the contentious bilateral issues to the concerned parties and come together unitedly."


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