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Havana turnaround

india Updated: Sep 18, 2006 13:38 IST
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India has implicitly acknowledged that Islamabad, too, is a victim of terrorism and this marks a shift in New Delhi's stance, says the Pakistani media.

India has conceded this by accepting the idea of establishing a joint mechanism to monitor acts of terrorism, said media reports on the "Havana handshake" between Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in the Cuban capital.

"The Pakistani side is happy that terrorism against Pakistan will also figure in the equation as there is common concern among all the sides that they have become victims in one shape or form to a common enemy operating under whatever name or cover," The News International reported from New York.

There is a sense of satisfaction in the Pakistani camp that they have achieved at least a commitment from the Indians to reverse the strong position after the Mumbai blasts that they would not resume the talks.

"And the new element of India recognising, although implicitly, that Pakistan was also a victim of terrorism is being viewed as a shift in Indian position though parts of the Indian media are calling it a 'bold and new experiment in tackling terrorism as partners'," the newspaper said.

The Nation newspaper editorially welcomed the Havana meeting on the sidelines of the NAM Summit, saying that it would compel India to resume the dialogue.

Accusing India of "intransigence", the editorial said: "India has adroitly dragged its feet on substantive matters whose resolution could have automatically opened the door for closer economic cooperation, easier contacts between the two peoples and spontaneous development of mutual trust."

Musharraf, who met the media in New York, was quoted as saying that his meeting with Singh was a "victory of the peace process".

Quizzed about any fresh formula for the resolution of the India-Pakistan disputes, the president said they didn't go into specifics of solutions.

"We agreed to narrow down the divergences and strengthen convergences. The road forward is the willingness to discuss and resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute."

"The two sides agreed to narrow down the divergences and strengthen the convergences," Musharraf said, adding that the road forward was the willingness to discuss and resolve the Jammu and Kashmir problem.

His military spokesperson Major General Shaukat Shaheen told the media that the tenor and tone was far better than the meeting between the two leaders last year in New York, The Nation said.

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