Stating that he had not not "given up" despite difficulties in dealing with Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday disclosed that representatives of the two countries including the ISI chief had been involved in discussions recently.
Ahead of the meeting he will have with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Egypt next week, Singh said that after the discussions between him and President Zardari in Russia last month "there have been discussions between the High Commissioners and with the ISI chief and the Foreign Office."
The Prime Minister gave no indication of how and with whom from the Indian side the ISI chief Shuja Pasha held discussions but said, "they (the Pakistani side) have given some suggestions ... some information on what they are doing about punishing those behind the Mumbai massacre."
"Now we hope they would take some steps in that direction (punishing the perpetrators) and with this hope I will meet Gilani," he told reporters on board his special plane while returning home from Italy.
Singh also sought to assuage Pakistani public opinion by making it clear that he had not not intended to hurt Zardari's feelings in any way when he had told him in the presence of the media that "my mandate is limited to telling you that the territory of Pakistan must not not be allowed to be used for terrorism against India."
"I simply forgot that the media was present there," he said in reference to his meeting with Zardari in Yekaterinburg in Russia.